"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"CHASING AMY"

By

Kevin Smith



INT. COMIC BOOK STORE - DAY

A pile of COMIC BOOKS are on a shelf next to myriad others.
The most prominent one is called `BLUNTMAN AND CHRONIC'. A
hand reaches in and pulls one out of frame. HOLDEN opens
the comic and flips through it He shakes his head. BANKY
looks over his shoulder.

BANKY
Felt Like this fucking day would
never come. Issue two - on the shelf.

HOLDEN
Yippee.

BANKY
Don't start, alright! This is a
cool moment, and I'd appreciate you
not trying to ruin it. How often
does a guy get the opportunity to
purchase something with his name on
it!
(points to name on
cover)
Banky Edwards- right!
(points to the other)
Holden McNeil.

HOLDEN
I know my name.

BANKY
C'mon, sour puss. We got the rest
of our lives to be artists. But
it's supply and demand. And right
now, the unwashed masses demand this.

HOLDEN
(off comic)
This is easy, alright! And right
now it pays the bills. Just don't
forget that we're better than this.

BANKY
I'll tell you who we're better than:
these two fags right here.

They approach the counter, where STEVE-DAVE, the store
manager, and WALT the Fan-boy, play a card game.

BANKY
(lays books on the
counter)
Alright Old-Maid's - take a break
from the Crazy-8's marathon and ring
us up.

STEVE-DAVE
(not looking up)
Well, well, well. Walt, Did you see
who it is! The local celebrities.
Quick - get them to autograph one of
their books so we can sell it for
triple it's value.

WALT
I'm not that in need of fifteen cents
right now.

They snicker and high-five one another. Holden rolls his
eyes.

BANKY
You guys operate the smallest, ladies'
bridge circle I've ever seen.

WALT
For your information, we're playing
`Crimson Mystical Mages' - an
overpower card game. Not that either
of you would give a shit about
something as advanced as this - there
are no dick or poopie jokes involved.

BANKY
(to Holden)
I don't think they're fans.

WALT
No, we're not. You're both a couple
of fucking no talents that got lucky.

STEVE-DAVE
And obviously your handlers or hangers-
on convinced you that your first
comic was good which it was not it
was thoroughly mediocre with a few
spiky bits of dialogue. And when
you get your foot in the door of the
business, what do you do! You turn
out a piece of shit like `Bluntman
and Chronic'.

WALT
Tell him, Steve-Dave.

STEVE-DAVE
(off comic)
`Bluntman and Chronic'. Pah. What
was that thing the little stoner
pulled on the villain in the last
issue!

WALT
The Stinky-palm.

STEVE-DAVE
Stinky-palm. You give comics a bad
name I tell all my customers not to
buy it, to spend their money on a
real comic book.

WALT
Fucking one hit wonder, dime-store
Frank Miller's.

STEVE-DAVE
This is the reality at Comic-Toast -
you're not going to get your ass
kissed here, because both me and
Walt think you suck.

WALT
And me.

STEVE-DAVE
I said that.

Steve-Dave offers the boys his two middle fingers, then goes
back to playing his game with Walt. Holden and Banky stare,
shocked. Banky nudges Holden and they both exit Steve-Dave
and the Fan-boy slap hands and go back to playing.

WALT
I've got a dragon card - forty power-
ups and twelve life points! Ha! I
get your elf card!

STEVE-DAVE
You're such a bitch! But thankfully,
I've saved a dark forces Shaman card
for just such an occasion.

WALT
You suck! Eighty six life-power
points to my twenty two!

STEVE-DAVE
I schooled their asses, now I'm
schooling your's.

Suddenly. A trash can crashes through the front window.
Steve-Dave and Walt hit the deck like bitches, covering one
another. They look up slowly. Steve-Dave leaps to his feet
and looks at the shattered mess. He pulls something off the
garbage can and reads it.

WALT
You know it was those two fucks!
Let's call the cops and have them
busted! I know where their studio
is! Or better yet, let's sue! You
can sue them, Steve-Dave!

STEVE-DAVE
(still reading note)
That won't be necessary.

WALT
What?! Why the hell not!

STEVE-DAVE
(holds up check)
Because this is a check for three
times what that window cost.
(reading note)
"Dear critics - thanks for the
insight. But like my grandmother
always said - `Fuck 'em if they can't
take a joke... and break their
window.' Kiss it, Banky the Hack.
P.S. - Your card game blows."

WALT
He said "Kiss it"!

CREDITS

INT. COMIC BOOK: CONVENTION SIGNING BOOTH - DAY

A physically large FAN - sweaty brow, tote bag bursting with
comics - leans forward, smiling.

FAN
Could you sign it "To a really big
fan"!

Holden sits at a table. Across from the barely-managing- to-
stand Fan. He offers him a patronizingly kind, half- smile
in return,

HOLDEN
You bet.

We're at a Comic Book show, specifically at a book- signing.
Behind Holden hangs a large banner, heralding HOLDEN McNEIL
AND BANKY EDWARDS - CREATORS OF `BLUNTMAN AND CHRONIC'. Beside
it is a large mock-up of the comic book cover which features
two stoner super-heroes who bear a striking resemblance to a
pair of very familiar friendly neighborhood drug dealers,
Holden hands the book back to the Fan.

FAN
I love this book man! This shit's
awesome. I wish I was like these
guys - getting stoned, talking all
raw about chicks and fighting
supervillains! I love these guys!
They're like `Cheech and Chong' meet
`Bill and fed'!

HOLDEN
I like to chink of them as
`Rosencrantz and Guildenstern' meet
`Vladimir and Estragon'.

FAN
Yeah!
(beat)
Who!

BANKY signs the book of another COLLECTOR.

COLLECTOR
So you draw this!

BANKY
(signing the comic)
I ink it and I'm also the colorist.
The guy next to me draws it. But we
both came up with the characters,

COLLECTOR
What's that mean - you `ink it'!

BANKY
Well. It means that Holden draws
the pictures in pencil, and then he
gives it to me to go over in ink

COLLECTOR
So you just trace!

Banky freezes up. He composes himself and continues signing.

BANKY
It's not tracing. I add depth and
shading to give the image mere
definition. Only then does the drawing
really take shape.

COLLECTOR
You go over what he draws with a pen -
that's tracing.

BANKY
(hands book back to
Collector)
Not really.
(calling out)
Next!

A LITTLE KID steps up but the Collector lingers.

COLLECTOR
Hey man. If somebody draws something
and then you draw the same thing
right on top of it, not going out-
side the designated original art
what do call that!

LITTLE KID
(shrugs)
I don't know. Tracing?

COLLECTOR
(to Banky)
See?

BANKY
It's not tracing.

COLLECTOR
Oh, but it is.

BANKY
(to Little Kid)
Do you want your book signed or what?

COLLECTOR
Hey - don't get all testy with him
just because you have a problem with
your station in life.

BANKY
I'm secure with what I do.

COLLECTOR
Then say it - you're a tracer.

BANKY
(grabbing Little Kid's
book)
How should I sign this?

LITTLE KID
(grabs book back)
I don't want you to sign it, I want
the guy that draws Bluntman and
Chronic to sign it. You're just a
tracer.

COLLECTOR
Tell him, Little Shaver.

Holden accepts a comic from another Fan.

HOLDEN
(off comic)
Who do I sign it to!

Before Holden can finish, a loud crash is heard. He looks
to his left and freaks. Banky is throttling the Collector
from across the table. The Collector attempts to fight him
off. SECURITY GUARDS pull them apart. Holden grabs Banky.

COLLECTOR
Jesus! All I did was call him a
tracer!

BANKY
(to Collector)
I'LL TRACE A CHALK LINE AROUND YOUR
DEAD FUCKING BODY, YOU FUCK?!

HOLDEN
(to Security Guard)
Could you get him out of here!

The Security Guards drag the collector away.

COLLECTOR
Hey, wait a sec! He jumped me! And
you're dragging me away!!
(exiting)
Fucking tracer!

BANKY
(calling OC)
YOUR MOTHER'S A TRACER!!

HOLDEN
Can I explain the audience principle
to you! If you insult and accost
them, then we have no audience.

BANKY
He started it! Fucking cock-knocker!
He's lucky I didn't put my pen through
his thorax!

HOLDEN
Need I remind you...
(holds up watch)
Curtain's in ten minutes.

INT. COMIC BOOK CONVENTION LECTURE HALL - DAY

HOOPER fills the frame. He comes off like a typical, pro-
black/anti-white homeboy.

HOOPER
For years in this industry whenever
an African-American character - hero
or villain - was introduced usually
by white artists and writers - they
got slapped with racist names that
singled them out as negroes: Black
Panther, Black Lightning, Black
Goliath, Black Mantra, Black Talon,
Black Spider, Black Hand, Black
Falcon, Black Cat..

VOICE FROM CROWD
She's white.

HOOPER
She is?
(beat)
Well bust this - regardless.

We're at a panel discussion. The room is full. Five creators
sit at a long table, their names on placards in front of
them.

(One of them is a very striking Girl.) The banner behind
them reads `WORDS UP - MINORITY VOICES IN COMICS'.

HOOPER
(holds up comic)
Now my book, `White-Hating Coon',
doesn't have any of that bullshit.
The hero's name is Maleekwa, and
he's a descendant of the black tribe
that established the first society
on the planet, while all you European
mother fuckers were still hiding in
caves and shit, all terrified of the
sun. He's a strong role model that a
young black reader can look up to,
`Cause I'm here to tell you - the
chickens are comin' home to roost,
ya'll: the black man's no longer
gonna play the minstrel in the medium
of comics and Sci-Fi/Fantasy! We're
keeping it real, and we're gonna get
respect - by any means necessary!

During the speech, Holden and Banky enter and sit up front.

HOLDEN
(calling out)
Bullshit! Lando Calrissian was a
black man, and he got to fly the
Millennium Falcon!

Hooper whips his head around, looking for the source of the
comment

HOOPER
Who said that?!?

HOLDEN
(standing)
I did! Lando Calrissian is a positive
black role model in the realm of
Science Fiction/Fantasy.

HOOPER
Fuck Lando Calrissian! Uncle Tom
nigger! Always some white boy gotta
invoke `the holy trilogy'! Bust this -
those movies are about how the white
man keeps the brother man down -
even in a galaxy far, far away.
Check this shit. You got cracker
farm-boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster
boy - blond hair, blue eyes. And
then you've got Darth Vader: the
blackest brother in the galaxy.
Nubian God.

BANKY
What's a Nubian?

HOOPER
Shut the fuck up! Now Vader, he's a
spiritual brother, with the force
and all that shit. Then this cracker
Skywalker gets his hands on a light-
saber, and the boy decides he's gonna
run the fucking universe - gets a
whole Klan of whites together, and
they're gonna bust up Vader's `hood
the Death Star. Now what the fuck
do you call that!

BANKY
Intergalactic Civil War!

HOOPER
Gentrification. They're gonna drive
our the black element, to make the
galaxy quote, unquote `safe' for
white folks.

HOLDEN
But Vader turns, out to be Luke's
father. And in Jedi, they become
friends.

HOOPER
Don't make me bust a cap in your
ass, yo! Jedi's the most insulting
installment, because Vader's
beautiful, black visage is sullied
when he pulls off his mask to reveal
a feeble, crusty white man! They're
trying to tell us that deep inside,
we all want to be white!

BANKY
Well isn't that true!

Hooper explodes, He pulls a nine millimeter from his belt,
draws on Banky and fires. Banky goes down, falling forward
into the crowd The crowd screams and starts to scatter, Hooper
jumps over the table and raises his fists in the air.

HOOPER
BLACK RAGE! BLACK RAGE!! I'LL KILL
ANY WHITE FOLKS I LAY MY MOTHER
FUCKIN' EYES ON!!!

The crowd-is gone. Holden sits in his chair, laughing.
Hooper steps off the stage and picks Banky's head up off the
floor.

HOOPER
(breaking character)
`What's a Nubian!' Bitch, you almost
made me laugh!

Hooper sounds different Actually, he sounds gay. Actually -
he is. Banky smiles.

BANKY
Well what about you! You didn't
tell me you were going to scream
`Black Rage'. I nearly pissed myself.

HOLDEN
How do you manage to get away with
this all the time? Shouldn't cops
be busting your head open right about
now?

BANKY
Wrong coast.

HOOPER
(off gun)
Well this right here - she full of
blanks, okay. And Opiate gets all
sorts of legal clearances before I
go on.

HOLDEN
Your publisher condones these
theatrics!

HOOPER
Condones? Honey, they insist. I
need to sell the image to sell the
book Would the audience still buy
the `Black Rage' angle if they found
out the book was written by a...
a...

BANKY
Faggot.

HOOPER
When you say if it sounds so sexy...
(he kisses Banky full
on the lips)

BANKY
(wipes his lips)
Hey, hey! I'll play your victim,
but not your catcher.

VOICE
How is it that you sound like Minister
Farakhan when you're on stage..

They turn to see... A beautiful, blonde, ruffled-haired
angel swinging her purse in a circle. Her name is ALYSSA.
She's the striking girl from the panel who didn't get to say
much.

ALYSSA
...and the King of Pop when you're
not.

HOOPER
Look out, boys - this kitten has a
whip.

ALYSSA
(shoves and slaps him)
Always before I get to speak! I
swear - the next Con I attend and
they ask me to be on the minority
panel, if I see your name anywhere
near the list, I'm passing.

HOOPER
(defending himself)
Holden. Banky - this pile of P.M.S.
is Alyssa Jones. She does that book
`Idiosyncratic Routine'. This is
the fourth panel we've been on
together, and even though she knows
my publisher sets this up and pays
for the event. She still gets mad
when it ends with my act.

ALYSSA
I just wish I was the one who gets
to shoot you.

HOOPER
That's what my father said when I
came - nay - leapt out of the closet
(off guys)
These boys do `Bluntman and Chronic',
which outsells both of our books put
together, hence they're never on a
panel with the likes of us. They
slumming right now.

BANKY
I've read your book. It's cute.
Chick stuff, but cute.

Holden hits him.

BANKY
What?

HOLDEN
(shoots him a look;
to Alyssa)
Sorry about him. He's dealing with
being an inker.

ALYSSA
(to Banky)
Oh. You trace!

Banky seethes.

HOLDEN
(shaking her hand)
I really enjoy your book I'm surprised
we've never met at any other Con's
before.

ALYSSA
Lose the dick or change your skin
tone and we can get to know each
other on panel after panel while the
Pink Black Panther here plays Chuck
D. for the fanboys.

HOOPER
Hey, jealousy.
(to the Boys)
I told Alyssa I'd buy her a post-
rave drink. Do the Garden-Staters
have to sprint to the Lincoln Tunnel,
or can you stay for a round in the
big, scary city!

BANKY
We're gonna take off soon...

HOLDEN
We'll go.

Banky offers Holden a puzzled glance. Then he nods to Hooper.

BANKY
We'll go.

INT BAR - NIGHT

Holden, Banky, Alyssa and Hooper sir around a table drinking,
talking, and smoking.

BANKY
Archie, alright! Archie and the
Riverdale gang were a pure and fun-
lovin' bunch. You can't find
dysfunction in those comics, because
they were just flat out wholesome.

HOOPER
Archie and Jughead were lovers.
(sips his drink)

BANKY
Shut the fuck up.

HOOPER
It's true. Archie was the bitch and
Jughead was the butch - that's why
Jughead wears that crown-looking hat
all the time: he the king, of queen
Archie's world.

BANKY
Man, I feel a hate-crime coming on.

HOLDEN
He's got a point. Archie never did
settle on Betty or Veronica.

BANKY
Because he wanted them both at the
same time, you assholes! He never
chose one because he was trying to
get both of them into a three-way!

HOOPER
(pulls out a dollar
and hands it to Banky)
Here. I want you to go down to the
corner store and buy yourself a clue.
Go on.

BANKY
Eat it, Urkel.

HOOPER
I told you to watch it with that
Urkel shit. Face it, girl - Archie's
a sister.

BANKY
(getting up; to Hooper)
That's it. You.

HOOPER
Moi?

BANKY
You are marching back across the
street with me, and we're going to
pick up a shit load of Archie books,
I am going to prove to you - beyond
the shadow of a doubt that Archie
was all about pussy. Come on.

HOOPER
(sliding out of booth)
This boy is conflicted, I shall play
mother-therapist for him. You two
sit tight. We shall return promptly.

Banky and Hooper exit, leaving Alyssa and Holden alone at
the table.

ALYSSA
Is he always Like that!

HOLDEN
For years now. Started back in third
grade - a nun was teaching us about
the Blessed Trinity. She's going on
about the three persons in one God
thing - Father, Son, Holy Spirit -
and he just goes ballistic. I guess
it was too big for him to grasp.
They got into this huge fight.

ALYSSA
Please. How bad could it have been!

HOLDEN
You ever seen a nun call a small
child a `fucking cunt-rag'? Wasn't
pretty, shit like that's bound to
happen when you make a kid wear a
matching tie and slacks everyday.

ALYSSA
And your parochial school
misadventures!

HOLDEN
Limited to wine-tasting prior to
mass. Turned me into a grade school
alcoholic altar boy. I couldn't
tell you how many mornings after
serious benders I'd wake up next to
strange priests.

ALYSSA
Aren't you the sharp wit!

HOLDEN
Sharp! No. I'm just a fan of clergy-
molestation humor. Probably why the
extended family quit inviting me to
First Communion parties.

Alyssa laughs. Holden smiles.

ALYSSA
(looking OC)
You play darts!

HOLDEN
Not professionally. You know - only
in bars.

AT THE DART BOARD

A dart hits the board then, one hits the wall beside the
board.

Alyssa winds up with another dart. Holden watches. Herís
always hit. His never do.

ALYSSA
So your new book seems to be selling
like mad.

HOLDEN
It goes back to something my
grandmother told me when I was a
kid. "Holden," she said "The big
bucks are in dick and fart jokes."
She was a church-goer.

ALYSSA
Uh-oh - the cry from the heart of a
real artist trapped in commercial
hell - pitying his good fortune.
Iím sure you can dry your eyes on
all those fat checks you rake in.

HOLDEN
Iím sorry - did I detect a note of
bitter envy in there!

ALYSSA
Nope. Iím happy my stuff gets read
at all. Thereís very little market
for hearts and flowers in this spandex-
clad, big pecs, big tits, big guns
field. If I sell two issues, I feel
like John Grisham.

HOLDEN
(looking out window)
Itís all about marketing. Over-or
underweight guys who donít get laid -
theyíre our bread and butter. People
like those two outside should be
yours.

Through the window, we see a COUPLE making out on the hood
of a car.

HOLDEN
And sadly, there are more of our
core audience out there than yours.
(smiles)
Look at that, though - kind of gives
you a little charge, to see two people
in love. And all over Bankyís car,
no less. That carís seeing more
action right now than itís seen in
years.

ALYSSA
Bubbly guy like that, itís hard to
figure out why.

HOLDEN
(still looking at OC
Couple)
Youíve gotta respect that kind of
display of affection. Itís crazy,
rude, self-absorbed - but itís love.

ALYSSA
Thatís not love.

HOLDEN
Says you.

ALYSSA
That out there! Thatís fleeting.

HOLDEN
Fleeting.

ALYSSA
Uh-huh. You wanna hear about love!
Oh, Iíll tell you about love.

HOLDEN
A story?

ALYSSA
The story. The original love story.

HOLDEN
ĎDoctor Zhivagoí.

ALYSSA
Nope. My motherís uncle. He was a
millionaire.

HOLDEN
Get out.

ALYSSA
I kid you not.

HOLDEN
Explain.

ALYSSA
All through high school, he dated
this one girl. They were
inseparable. And when they graduated,
she went off to Carnegie Mellon...

HOLDEN
In Pittsburgh.

ALYSSA
Iím impressed. So he stays in the
home town, and they begin their long-
distance relationship. The plan is,
on the third Sunday of every month,
heíll train out, spend a week then
train back They do this for four
years.

HOLDEN
That is love.

ALYSSA
Not nearly finished. Two months
before sheís going to graduate, heís
got this job digging graves, and he
comes across...

HOLDEN
A stiff.

ALYSSA
A steamer trunk containing silver
ingots.

HOLDEN
Get out of here.

ALYSSA
Many, many silver ingots. Now, my
motherís uncle being quite the
ingenious chap - he buries the trunk
again and heads up to the main office,
where he proceeds to purchase a
cemetery plot. Guess which one?

HOLDEN
Clever.

ALYSSA
So now he owns the plot and all of
its contents. Two days later, my
motherís uncle is worth three million.

HOLDEN
At which time he marries the high
school sweetheart and lives happily
ever after.

ALYSSA
Not even close. Inside the steamer
trunk, stenciled into the wood, or
something like that, is a curse.

HOLDEN
Someone wrote ĎFuckí inside his new
steamer trunk.

ALYSSA
Not that kind of curse. A cryptic
curse "Great fortune means great
loss" it said.

HOLDEN
What kind of asshole writes that
inside a steamer trunk!

ALYSSA
The same kind of asshole that buries
silver ingots. The day my motherís
uncle is heading out to see the girl,
he stops at his accountantís to grab
some cash, and winds up missing his
train. So he has to take the next
one - which he does - and he gets
there an hour later than his usual
time of arrival, whereupon he sees
lights.

HOLDEN
A heroís welcome for the new
millionaire.

ALYSSA
It seems that while she was standing
on the platform waiting that extra
hour for my motherís uncle to show
up, the girl was dragged into the
bushes by an unknown assailant, raped
and gutted.

Holden is silent Alyssa downs her drink.

ALYSSA
The assailant was never apprehended.

HOLDEN
(beat)
Thatís a love story!!

ALYSSA
Yes, and hereís why: my motherís
uncle rode that train every day for
the rest of his life. One day up,
the next day back. Did that Ďtill
the day he died. He donated the
fortune heíd acquired to the train
station in Pittsburgh, to have a
well-lit terminal built. The train
line let him ride for free after
that.

HOLDEN
I should hope so. Jesus, thatís the
saddest tale Iíve ever heard.

ALYSSA
Thatís my love story.

Alyssa tosses her last dart. Holden seems a bit dazed. He
looks out the window.

HOLDEN
Those two arenít on the hood of
Bankyís car anymore.

ALYSSA
I told you It wasnít love.
(grabs her purse)
I gotta split. It was really nice
meeting you. I wish you the best of
luck with your book.
(shakes his hand)
Tell Hooper Iíll call him later.
And tell your friend to calm down.

Alyssa exits to the night. Holden stares after her. Two
beats later, Hooper and Banky enter, holding an ĎEverythingís
Archieí comic between them.

BANKY
Youíre insane. Archie is not fucking
Mister Weatherbee!

HOOPER
Deny, deny, deny.
(to Holden)
Whereís Alyssa?

HOLDEN
Huh! Oh. She left. She said sheíd
call you later.

BANKY
(off comic)
Heís just offering to help Archie
with his homework!

HOOPER
Read between the lines.

BANKY
(shoves book at him)
Fuck this.
(to Holden)
Letís go. Traffic.
(no response from
Holden)
Holden!

HOLDEN
(shaken)
What!

BANKY
Letís go.

HOOPER
(looking out window)
Díjou see that dent in the hood of
your car!

BANKY
(looking out window)
What the...! Son of a bitch!

Banky runs out Holden shrugs at Hooper.

HOOPER
Let me guess: you like her!

HOLDEN
Who?

HOOPER
Miss Alyssa Jones.

HOLDEN
Sheís alright.

HOOPER
As long as thatís all.
(finishes drink)
Maybe you can convince that partner
of yourís to drop me off downtown
before you scurry out the tunnel!

HOLDEN
(beat)
Mister Weatherbee wasnít really trying
to fuck Archie, was he!

They begin exiting.

HOOPER
Hell no. Weatherbee was Reggieís
bitch.

INT. STUDIO - DAY

Weíre in Holden and Bankyís studio/apartment. Itís a rented
loft-style place with high ceilings, wood floors and sparse
furnishings. There are posters on the walls, a sort of
kitchenette, a hockey net, a big TV. (with all the trimmings -
VCR, Laserdisc player, Sega, SNES), a huge comfy couch, and
two drawing boards with adjacent desks (littered with pencils,
pens, coloring pencils, paints, erasers, etc.) - at which
sit Holden and Banky. Theyíre working. Some music plays.

C.U. OF HOLDEN PENCILING - over his shoulder, we see Holden
sketching Chronic in mid-attack of his arch-nemesis - the
Giggler. Holden erases a line and re-draws.

C.U. OF BANKY INKING - over his shoulder, we see Banky
outlining a pre-penciled page. He traces Bluntman swinging
from a street light.

The two work in silence. Then...

BANKY
(not looking up)
This is one of the best street lights
youíve ever drawn.

HOLDEN
Itís the one across from the post
office.

BANKY
Looks just like it.

HOLDEN
Thanks.
(beat)
What do you wanna do tonight!

BANKY
Get a pizza. Watch ĎDegrassi Junior
Highí.

HOLDEN
(erases)
You got a weird thing for Canadian
melodrama.

BANKY
Iíve got a weird thing for girls who
say Ďabootí.

The phone starts ringing. Holden answers it, while still
drawing.

HOLDEN
Bank-Hold-Up.

CROSSCUT between Holden and Hooper. Heís on a phone in a
CLUB.

HOOPER
Hooper here. Listen, I know how you
burb-fiends hate the city, but thereís
a club shindig going down that I
think youíd get into.

HOLDEN
Where is it?

HOOPER
Place called Her-sterectomy - Iím
tempting as bar-keep.

HOLDEN
I donít know, Hoop. Weíre prepping
the next issue, and weíve got our
big M-TV meeting in the morning.

HOOPER
I told her you wouldnít be interested.

HOLDEN
Told who?

HOOPER
Alyssa.

HOLDEN
Alyssa from last night Alyssa?

HOOPER
How do you begin and end a question
with the same word like that? You
got skill. Yes, that one. She asked
me to invite you. Now hereís the
part where you say...

HOLDEN
Iíll be there.

HOOPER
Thought so. Ten oíclock. Later.
(both hang up)

BANKY
Who was that?

HOLDEN
Hooper. He invited me to a club.

BANKY
Whenís that faggot going to learn -
you like chicks.

HOLDEN
(getting up)
Not that kind of a club.

BANKY
So when we leaving?

HOLDEN
ĎWeí? You canít go. Heís setting
me up with Alyssa.

BANKY
And?

HOLDEN
And I donít want you messing it up.

BANKY
Like I care about your shit. Maybe
Iíll hook up myself.

HOLDEN
(pulling on coat)
I just told you - itís not that kind
of club.

BANKY
How does one man get to be so funny!

HOLDEN
(throws him his coat)
How are you going to get home if I
hook up!

BANKY
Like thatíll happen.

HOLDEN
Let me explain something to you, my
witless chum the other night in that
bar, we two - Alyssa and I shared a
moment, alright!

BANKY
Oh, you had a moment!

HOLDEN
(brings his two pointer
fingers together)
We shared a moment. And in that
moment, one thing was made abundantly
clear: this girl loves me, my friend.
Loves-me.

INT. HER-STERECTOMY - NIGHT

Itís a club - people are mingling, a band is playing, itís
loud. But somethingís fishy. Hooperís tending bar. He
hands a GUY a drink. The Guy sips it.

GUY
This is so watered down. Itís
terrible. Why is it you can never
get a decent drink in these places!

Hooper looks around in a very exaggerated fashion.

GUY
What are you doing!

HOOPER
Trying to find you a tissue.

The Guy shoots Hooper an angry glare, Banky enters.

BANKY
Alright - bring on the free hootch.

HOOPER
As long as you donít bitch about how
little alcohol is in the drink.
(hands Banky a drink;
to Guy)
You owe me five sixty.

GUY
(off Banky)
And I suppose youíre going to make
your friend here pay for his drink
right!

BANKY
Hey, I befriended a guy in a position
of authority so I could abuse that
authority and get free shit. You
want to do the same? Thereís a lonely
Hindu works at the í7-llí across the
street. Get in tight with him.

The Guy angrily pulls out his money and slams it on the bar.

GUY
I work at that Ď7-11í!
(storms away)

BANKY
(calling after him)
Wanna be friends!

HOOPER
Whereís your better half!

BANKY
Taking a piss. Guyís got a bladder
like an infant.

HOOPER
Thatís funny - he says youíre hung
like an infant.

BANKY
Must his mother tell him everything!

Holden enters.

BANKY
Whatíd you do - fall in love?

HOLDEN
Where is she?

HOOPER
Over there...

ON THE DANCE FLOOR - in the middle of a thrall of people -
dances Alyssa. She moves like a cat and sheís looking very
sexy.

HOOPER (O.S.)
Been danciní for an hour. Hasnít
stopped yet.

Hooper, Holden, and Banky stare OC.

BANKY
She ainít no Denny Terrio, Iíll say
that.

Holden smacks Banky and moves to exit.

HOOPER
Wait. wait, wait - thereís something
you should know.

HOLDEN
Sheís got a boyfriend.

HOOPER
Well.. no.

HOLDEN
Then whatís to know?

Holden exits; They watch him go. Banky looks around.

BANKY
Thereíre a lot of chicks in this
place.

HOOPER
ĎChicksí. Youíre such a man.

BANKY
(beat)
He didnít really say that about my
dick, did he!

ON THE DANCE FLOOR - Holden slips into the crowd and dances
up to Alyssa. He intentionally bumps into her.

HOLDEN
(fake rage, dancing)
Hey, hey, hey - you fucked up my
cabbage-patch!

ALYSSA
Well, well, well - Bluntman himself.
Or should I call you Chronic!

HOLDEN
Call me flattered. I heard you sent
me the invite to this little soireeí.

ALYSSA
From a former home-town girl, to
Mister Home-Town himself.

HOLDEN
Youíre saying youíre from the Ďburbs!

ALYSSA
Middletown, N.J.

HOLDEN
Get out of here! Iím from Highlands!

ALYSSA
I know. Hooper told me.

HOLDEN
How is it that we never ran into one
another?

ALYSSA
You graduate from Hudson?

HOLDEN
Yeah. Eighty eight.

ALYSSA
I went to North. Also eighty eight.

HOLDEN
What a small fucking world. So you
know the tri-town area!

ALYSSA
Quiz me.

HOLDEN
Miller Hill?

ALYSSA
I wrote my name on the wall.

HOLDEN
Sandy Hook?

ALYSSA
Lost my virginity there.

HOLDEN
This is so cool. The mall!

ALYSSA
Eden Prairie of Menlo Park!

HOLDEN
Wait - hereís the big test: Quick
Stop!

ALYSSA
My best friend fucked a dead guy in
the back room.

HOLDEN
You know that girl!!

ALYSSA
I did. Before she was committed.

HOLDEN
You know what this is! This is fate.

ALYSSA
(regarding her move)
No, this is the ĎRogí.

HOLDEN
I was talking about us meeting -
what are the chances!

ALYSSA
Pretty slim. I havenít been back to
the Ďburbs since my friendís funeral.

HOLDEN
The Quick Stop girl died!

ALYSSA
Another friend - Julie Dwyer. She
died in the..

HOLDEN
Y.M.C.A pool! Damn! You knew her
too!

ALYSSA
So well.

HOLDEN
One friend in an asylum, the other
friend in the grave. Youíre a
dangerous person to know.

ALYSSA
But I can tap.
(does an impromptu
tap dance)
That was the Buffalo Two-Step.

HOLDEN
Very solid.

ALYSSA
Thatís what six years of tap lessons
yields.

HOLDEN
Two towns away from each other for
years and we had to meet in New York.

The Sand stops playing. People clap.

ALYSSA
Coulda been worse - we could have
not met at all.

Holden looks at her.

OC SINGER
Thank you. Thanks.

The SINGER on stage speaks into the microphone.

SINGER
A long time ago, we used to have
this bass player who took off one
day to draw funny books or something.
Maybe youíve seen her stuff - itís
called ĎIdiosyncratic Routineíí

The crowd applauds. Alyssa shakes her head, smiling. Holden
pokes her.

SINGER
But what a lot of people donít know
is that she used to harbor these
delusions that she could sing. And
she used to subject us to these
throaty renditions of Debbie Gibson
tunes and shit, insisting that we
let her front on a few numbers.
Well, we didnít and she quit... and
then she got famous, the bitch.
(crowd laughs)
But sheís here tonight, and I think
if we all begged, or maybe offered
her some X, sheíd get up here and
treat us to some of her vocal
stylings.
(crowd applauds)
What do you say, Alyssa?

Alyssa shakes her head no. The crowd urges her. Holden
pushes her forward.

SINGER
Sheís shy.
(yelling)
GET UP HERE AND SING, BITCH!!

The crowd thunders. Alyssa offers the Singer an embarrassed
half-smile. She looks at Holden, who claps along with the
others and nods toward the stage. Alyssa shakes her head
and relents, heading through the crowd

Banky and Hooper stand at the bar.

BANKY
This is so queer.
(he exits)

HOOPER
(beat)
You donít know the half of it.

Alyssa jumps on stage, hugging the Singer. She takes the
mic, shaking her head. The crowd is applauding.

ALYSSA
She is such a twat.

The crowd cheers. Alyssa laughs. She turns to the band and
says something which they nod. She turns back to the crowd.

ALYSSA
Alright. I should dedicate this,
right?
(thinks)
This is for that special someone out
there.

Holden smiles. Banky joins him. Holden glances at him.
Banky offers a mocking mimic of his smile.

The band starts playing. Cross cutting begins.

Alyssa launches into a torchy tune. The song is extremely
sexy - as is Alyssa who works the mic, making direct eye
contact with...

Holden. Or does she! Holden is smiling, being seduced,
Banky rolls his eyes. Beside Holden, stands a pretty GIRL
with a short haircut, whoís also riveted by Alyssaís
performance.

Alyssa makes big-time eye contact with somebody out there.
The song seems to be aimed at whoever sheís looking at.
Itís more than obvious thereís a seduction going on, but of
whom! At the end of the song, the crowd goes wild but
Alyssaís preoccupied. She points to someone in the crowd,
and curls her finger back in a Ďcímereí fashion, urging
whoever it is to join her. She jumps off the stage.

Holden shakes his head sheepishly and looks downward, aw-
shucks style. At that moment, the girl beside him leaps
forward. Bankyís eyes widen. Holden looks up and is suddenly
taken aback.

Alyssa and the girl race into each otherís arms and fall
into a way-to-passionate-to-mean-anything-else kiss.

Holdenís eyes bug. Banky allows a smile to creep across his
face. The crowd applauds. Banky looks around, and for the
first time, we get the distinct impression that this is a
lesbian bar...

There are a lot of chicks in this place. Gay chicks. Banky
looks at Holden and slaps him on the back.

BANKY
Now that, my friend, is a...
(brings his fingers
together, mimicing
Holden)
...shared moment.

Holden continues to stare - mouth agape.

Alyssa and the girl continue to kiss.

INT. HER-STERECTOMY - LATER

Banky, Holden, Alyssa and the girl from the dance floor sit
around a table. Alyssa and the girl continue to make out.
Holden and Banky casually watch, wide-eyed. Banky stares a
little harder. Holden hits him.

BANKY
What?!

HOLDEN
(under his breath)
Thatís rude.

BANKY
Man, when are we ever going to get a
chance to see this kind of shit live
without paying for it?

Alyssa and the girl break their kiss.

ALYSSA
Uh-oh - better knock it off: weíre
getting a man excited.

HOLDEN
Sorry. Itís just... new to him.

BANKY
Oh, and youíre an old hand at this.

ALYSSA
No, I should apologize. I donít
usually get all mushy in public.
But itís been awhile since Iíve seen
Kim here.

KIM
(formerly the girl)
Tell me you didnít set that gross
display up with the band just so you
could nail me.

ALYSSA
Like Iíd have to go through that
much effort

KIM
You know what! I want to dance.

ALYSSA
Go ahead. Iíll watch from here.

KIM
(tugging at her arm)
No. I want to dance with you.

ALYSSA
Donít be such a rag. I have to sit
here and work up the desire to fuck
you later.

KIM
Please.

Kim exits. Banky is smiling ear-to-ear. Alyssa looks at
him.

ALYSSA
Yes?

BANKY
You said Ďfuckí. To that girl. You
said youíd Ďfuckí her.

ALYSSA
And?

BANKY
How can a girl Ďfuckí another girl!
Were you talking about strap-ons or
something?

HOLDEN
(hits him)
Would you shut up!!

BANKY
What!!? Itís a valid question. You
know the dyke stuff in the Penthouse
Letters section is written by guys -
this is our chance to get the inside
scoop.

HOLDEN
(to Alyssa)
I donít know how many times I can
apologize for him.

ALYSSA
Itís okay. Secretly, all I really
want is to be the center of attention.
(to Banky)
Iíve never used a snap-on.

BANKY
Then whatís with saying Ďfuck?
Shouldnít you say Ďeat her outí or
at least modify the term Ďfuckí with
something like Ďfistí?

ALYSSA
Let me ask you a question - can men
Ďfuckí each other!

BANKY
Ask Hooper.

ALYSSA
In your estimation.

BANKY
Sure.

ALYSSA
So for you, to Ďfuckí means to
penetrate. Youíre used to the more
traditional definition - you inside
some girl youíve duped, jack-hammering
away, not noticing that bored look
in her eyes.

BANKY
Hey - I always notice the bored look
in their eyes.

ALYSSA
(laughs)
ĎFuckingí is nor limited to
penetration, Banky. For me it
describes any sex when itís not
totally about love. I donít love
Kim, but Iíll fuck her. Iím sure
you donít love every girl you sleep
with.

BANKY
Some of them I downright loathe.

ALYSSA
But Iíll bet itís different with the
ones you love. Iíll bet you go the
full nine when itís not just a quick
fix - like you go down on them longer
or something.

HOLDEN
Here we go.

BANKY
I donít do that.

ALYSSA
What?!?!

BANKY
I stopped dropping. It got to be
too frustrating.

HOLDEN
As stupid as you usually come off
during this diatribe of yourís, youíre
going to come off ten times as stupid
on this occasion.

BANKY
What?! I lost my tolerance for the
bullshit baggage that comes with
eating girls out. Whatís the big
deal?!

ALYSSA
If you say the smell, so help me,
Iíll slug you.

BANKY
Not the smell - the smell is good.
Iím talking about not being able to
do it property. And my mother brought
me up to believe that if I canít do
something right I shouldnít do it at
all. Of course, my father told me
she gave lousy head, but thatís beside
the point.

ALYSSA
At least you blame yourself for your
sexual inadequacies.

BANKY
No, I blame them. Chicks never help
you out. They never tell you what
to do. And most of them are self-
conscious about that smell factor,
and so most of the time they just
lay there, frozen like a deer in the
headlights, right? Not for nothing,
but when a chick goes down on me. I
let her know where to go, and what
the status is. You gotta handle it
like CNN and the Weather Channel -
constant updates.

HOLDEN
Youíre such an idiot.

ALYSSA
No, heís got a point. Thatís how I
was in high school - I was nervous,
and inhibited about being eaten out.
But by the time I got to college,
that all changed. I loosened up.
Not only did I learn to communicate -
I learned to be bossy. I was like
one of those guys at the airport
with those big flash lights - waving
them this way, directing them that
way, telling them when to stop.

BANKY
And thatís all Iím saying, itíd be
different if chicks helped out -
pointed a guy in the right direction.
Then thereíd be no bullshit, no wasted
time, and no chance for permanent
injuries.

ALYSSA
Permanent injuries?

BANKY
Sure. You wanna see something
permanent!
(pulls out front tooth)
I got this from Nina Rollins,
sophomore year. Iím going down on
her, and out of nowhere, her cat
jumps on her stomach. She does this
big olí pelvic thrust - cracks my
tooth in half, sends it down my
throat. I had to get a crown for
the stub.

ALYSSA
(to Holden)
I got that beat.
(to Banky)
I got that beat.
(half-turns and lifts
chin)
Sophomore year. Iím going down on
Cynthia Slater in her dorm room after
we went club-hopping. Iím totally
drunk, and in the middle of it, I
fall asleep - right there in her
lap. She got so mad, she digs her
heel into my back, right there.
(points to scar)
Thatís permanent.

BANKY
You see this!
(moves neck slightly
right)
Thatís the farthest I can move my
neck to the right Sophomore year,
Iím going out with Maria Bennert,
and for six months, Iím going down
on her, and not a damn thingís
happening. Then one night, I change
a position, or vary my lapping-speed,
and suddenly itís a whole new world.
Sheís moving around, convulsing,
breathing heavy. And her legs are
pressing against my ears so tightly
that I donít hear her father come
into the room. He grabs my hair...
(grabs his own hair
and pulls back)
...and he pulls me way back, hard.

ALYSSA
(throws up her leg,
and rolls up pants)
Senior year. Spring Formal. Iím
eating our Missy Kurt in her brotherís
car. Sheís laying across the back
seat, and Iím half-hanging out of
the car, my knees on the ground.
Sheís flailing around, and she knocks
the parking brake off. The car starts
rolling down the hill, and my right
knee is cut up all to shit like a
kiddyís scissor class cut it up for
paper dolls.

Banky and Alyssa laugh. Holden looks at a small scar on his
arm and thinks better about mentioning it. Then Kim re-enters
and plants a big kiss on Alyssaís neck.

HOLDEN
(off Bankyís watch)
Holy shit, is that the time. Weíve
gotta beat traffic.

BANKY
What traffic - itís one thirty in
the morning!

HOLDEN
(getting up)
And rush hour starts in six hours.
Letís go.
(to Alyssa)
Thanks for inviting us out. It was...
educational.

Alyssa waves at him as he exits. Banky slides out of the
booth.

BANKY
(to Kim)
Since you like chicks, right... do
you just look at yourself in the
mirror all the time?

Holden reaches in and pulls Banky out. Alyssa watches them
go, then turns and kisses Kim.

INT. M-TV EXECíS OFFICE WAITING ROOM - DAY

Holden looks preoccupied. Banky flips through magazines,
biting off mini pieces of the gum heís chewing. He sticks
them between pages, presses the mag closed, picks up another
one and then repeats the whole process. A Receptionist types.

BANKY
(off Holdenís look)
Youíre still dwelling on the dyke,
arenít you?

HOLDEN
Lower your voice.

BANKY
Whatíd I tell you - she just needs
the right guy. All every woman really
wants - be it mother, senator, nun -
is some serious deep-dicking.

The Receptionist stops typing and looks at Banky, shocked.

BANKY
(off her look)
Donít give me that look - I heard
Adam Curry say worse.

The Secretary goes back to typing. Banky shrugs at Holden.

BANKY
Thatís why I canít buy lesbians.
Everyone needs dick. See, I can buy
fags. Bunch of guys that need dick -
just plain need it? That I get.
Dykes? Bullshit posturing. But -
live and let live, I guess.

HOLDEN
Iím sure the gay community appreciates
your support.

JOHN SLOSS, the boyís lawyer, joins them.

SLOSS
Please tell me you havenít blown
this deal already.

BANKY
Sloss like a mother fucker.
(slaps his hand)

SLOSS
Hey, every mother but yourís - a
shysterís gotta have his standards.
Shall we?

INT. M-TV EXECíS OFFICE - DAY

The EXECS are a casual couple of guys, sitting on couches
across from our trio.

EXEC 1
We just want to start off by saying
that itís a pleasure to finally meet
you. While itís been - shall we say -
an experience dealing with Sloss
here, one of the main reasons we
started this whole thing was to meet
the guys that do ĎBluntman and
Chronicí.

EXEC 2
(points at them)
ĎSnootchie Bootchiesí.

The Execs and Sloss laugh. Holden and Banky politely join
in. Banky shoots Holden a Ďthese guys are idiotsí look.

EXEC 1
Which brings us to our proposal: we
are extremely interested in doing
twelve, half-hour ĎBluntman and
Chronicí cartoons. The age of Beavis
is coming to a close, and weíre
looking for something... something...

BANKY
Even more retarded and juvenile to
sate the voracious, intellectually-
challenged miscreants that make up
your key demographic.

The Execs laugh hard. Sloss secretly shrugs to Banky and
gives the thumbs up.

EXEC 1
(composes himself)
So what do you say! Are we in
business!

Banky leans back into the couch, wearing a thoughtful face.
He looks to Holden, then to Sloss. Sloss nods in
understanding.

SLOSS
Jim, Sean - could we have a few
minutes!

EXEC 2
(looks to Exec 1)
Uh... absolutely. Weíll just..

EXEC 1
Uh... wait outside

The Execís smile and head our, closing the door behind then.
Sloss turns to Banky.

SLOSS
So? Did I do good?

BANKY
You did better - you sold us out!

They clasp hands and quietly explode in ebullience.

SLOSS
Do you know how much youíll make on
merchandising alone!

BANKY
(as Simon Bar Sinister)
Money and Power, and Money and
Power...

SLOSS
(joins in)
Money and Power, and Money and...

HOLDEN
(interrupting)
I donít think itís a good idea.

Banky and Sloss freeze. They stare at Holden.

BANKY
Whatís not a good idea! Please donít
say the cartoon, please donít say
the cartoon...

HOLDEN
The cartoon.

SLOSS
What?!? Are you out of your fucking
mind!

BANKY
(getting up)
John, let me handle this.
(to Holden)
You are out of your fucking mind,
arenít you!

HOLDEN
Is this how you want to be remembered!
As the guy who created Bluntman and
Chronic!

Banky sits at the Execís desk and starts rifling through the
guyís stuff.

BANKY
No, Iíd like to be remembered as the
filthy rich guy who created Bluntman
and Chronic.

HOLDEN
But itíll be all glossy and main-
stream. Weíll lose any artistic
credibility we ever had.

SLOSS
(to Banky)
Is it me! I donít see the problem.

BANKY
(to Sloss)
He just has to get over this crush
of his.

SLOSS
Oh God - not on Carrie Fisher again!
(to Holden)
Holden - sheís not really a Princess.

BANKY
(opening drawer with
a letter opener)
Not on her; on Alyssa Jones - the
chick that does that comic book
ĎIdiosyncratic Routineí. You ever
seen it?

SLOSS
Please. Like I even read your comic,
let alone anyone elseís,
(to Holden)
Iím not limited to offering you legal
counsel only, my friend. Iím also
learned in the ways of the heart,
and can offer you this advice - nail
her, get it out of your system, and
move on. Like we say at Sloss Law -
good fences make good neighbors.

BANKY
Sheíd never let him in her yard.
The chickís gay.

SLOSS
(laughing)
Sheís gay? You fell for a gay, comic-
book writing chick? Holden, you
poor, poor man!
(beat)
Wait a sec - does she have
representation!

BANKY
Always working, you.
(holds up a Polaroid
of a naked woman)
Look at this - Mrs. M-TV Exec has a
string of pearls hanging our of her
ass,

SLOSS
Would you leave his stuff alone!
(to Holden)
You can break her resolve, killer.
All it takes is one good man. But
if it takes two good men, donít
hesitate to call me. That being
said, in regards to the more pressing
issue, I suggest you leave art to
the museums and grab on with both
hands to the big, fat check.

HOLDEN
Iíll give it some thought

BANKY
(holding up Polaroid)
Iím taking this as a precaution -
just in case they give us any shit
about pussyís decision delay.
(glaring at Holden)
Youíll Ďgive it some thoughtí. Youíre
so retarded

HOLDEN
Iím retarded! This from the guy who
only forty five minutes ago paid
fifty bucks for whatís supposed to
be a boot-leg of ĎMarch of the Wooden
Soldiersí with a deleted scene of
Stan Laurel wearing a French Tickler.

SLOSS
Howíd you fall for that!

BANKY
The guy who sold it to me had an
honest face.

INT. STUDIO - DAY

There is a door. Thereís a knock at the door. Holden opens
it and Alyssa is standing there.

ALYSSA
Somebody told me that they make comic
books here, and Iíve got an idea for
this story about a guy who comes to
a club and high-tails it when he
finds out this girl is gay. Any
interest in a story like that!

Holden smiles.

EXT. RIVERFRONT PARK - DAY

Alyssa and Holden walk through the park, eating hot dogs.

ALYSSA
M-TV?

HOLDEN
Twelve episodes.

ALYSSA
Thatís great, isnít it?

HOLDEN
Banky seems to think so.

ALYSSA
But you donít.

They come to a swing set and sit down on the swings.

HOLDEN
I donít know if thatís the perception
I want people to have of our stuff.
I know this sounds pretentious as
hell, but I like to think of us as
artists. And Iíd like to get back
to doing something more personal -
like our first book.

ALYSSA
Well when are you going to do that?

HOLDEN
(beat)
As soon as we have something personal
to say.

ALYSSA
Do you know how pretty you are?

HOLDEN
What?

ALYSSA
Youíre a pretty man.

HOLDEN
Uh... thanks.

ALYSSA
Oh. I get it. Iím into girls, so I
have to find all men repulsive or
something.

HOLDEN
I didnít say anything.

ALYSSA
Arenít there some men that you find
attractive? Granted, not enough to
sleep with, but still - just handsome
or something!

HOLDEN
Sure. Harrison Ford. And our mail-
man.

ALYSSA
Well itís the same thing. I look at
you and just find you really handsome.
And you know, it has very little to
do with your look, per-se. Your
look is fine, donít get me wrong.
But itís more your outlook. The
things you say, the way you see
things. Itís... I donít know...
attractive,

Holden looks away, embarrassed,

ALYSSA
I weirded you out the other night

HOLDEN
Huh! No, not really.

ALYSSA
Come on.

HOLDEN
(beat)
Itís just that weíve..., I mean,
Iíve never seen that kind of thing
up close and personal. It just took
awhile to process, longer than usual.

ALYSSA
Do you want to talk about it!

HOLDEN
Um. If you want to.

ALYSSA
I like you. I havenít liked a man
in a long time. And Iím not a man-
hater or something. Itís just been
some time since Iíve been exposed to
a man that didnít immediately live
into a stereotype of some sort. And
I want you to feel comfortable with
me, because I want us to be friends.
So if there are things youíd like to
know, itís okay to ask me.

HOLDEN
(beat)
Why girls?

ALYSSA
(beat)
Why men?

HOLDEN
Because thatís the standard

ALYSSA
If thatís the only reason youíre
attracted to women - because itís
the standard..

HOLDEN
Itís more than that.

ALYSSA
So youíve never been curious about
men?

HOLDEN
Curious about men? Well... I always
wondered why my father watched ĎHee-
Hawí.

ALYSSA
You know what I mean.

HOLDEN
No.

ALYSSA
Why not!

HOLDEN
No interest.

ALYSSA
Because...?

HOLDEN
Girls feel right.

ALYSSA
And thatís how I feel. Iíve never
really been attracted to men. Iím
more comfortable with the idea of
girls.

HOLDEN
Wait, wait, wait - youíre still a
virgin?

ALYSSA
No.

HOLDEN
But youíve only been with girls.

ALYSSA
Youíre saying a personís a virgin
until theyíve had intercourse with a
member of the opposite sex?

HOLDEN
Isnít that the standard definition?

ALYSSA
Again with the standards. I think
virginity is lost when you make love
for the first time.

HOLDEN
With a member of the opposite sex.

ALYSSA
Why? Why only then?

HOLDEN
Because thatís the standard.

ALYSSA
So if a virgin is raped, then sheís
still a virgin?

HOLDEN
Of course not.

ALYSSA
But rape is not the standard. So
sheís had sex, but not the standard
idea of sex. Hence, according to
your definition, sheíd still be a
virgin.

HOLDEN
Okay, Iíll revise. Virginity is
lost when the hymen is broken.

ALYSSA
Then I lost my virginity at ten,
because I fell on a fence post when
I was ten, and it broke my hymen.
Now I have to tell people that I
lost it to a wooden post Iíd known
my whole young life?

HOLDEN
Second revision - virginity is lost
through penetration.

ALYSSA
Physical penetration or emotional?

HOLDEN
Emotional?

ALYSSA
Well, I fell in love hard with Caitlin
Bree when we were in high school.

HOLDEN
Physical penetration.

ALYSSA
We had sex.

HOLDEN
Yeah, but not real sex.

ALYSSA
I move to have that remark stricken
from the record. On account of it
makes you come off as completely
naive and infantile.

HOLDEN
Well whereís the penetration in
lesbian sex.

Alyssa holds up her hand.

HOLDEN
A finger? Come on. Iíve had my
finger in my ass but I wouldnít say
Iíve had anal sex.

ALYSSA
Did I hold up a finger?
(waves her hand)

HOLDEN
(beat; then he gets
it)
Youíre kidding?!?!
(she nods)
How...?!?

ALYSSA
Our bodies are built to pass a child,
for Christís sake.

HOLDEN
But doesnít it hurt?!

ALYSSA
Sure. But in a good way. And itís
only a once-in-awhile thing - reserved
for really special occasions.

HOLDEN
What about not-so-special occasions?

ALYSSA
Tongue only.

HOLDEN
But how can that be enough? I mean,
letís be real - how big can a tongue
even get?

Alyssa swallows what sheís chewing and releases her tongue,
which is just huge. Holden is transfixed. Alyssa wraps it
back up and smiles, standing.

ALYSSA
Letís go.

She exits. Holden remains in the swing. Alyssa comes back
in.

ALYSSA
Come on.

HOLDEN
Just...uh... just give me a moment.

INT AIRPORT - DAY

Holden enters. Banky tries to balance way-too-much luggage.

HOLDEN
Look at you. Itís a two day trip.

BANKY
I got the Sega in one bag, my clothes
in the other, and two months worth
of unread comics in this one.

HOLDEN
Weíre going to a convention, for the
love of God. Weíll be busy from ten
Ďtill eight each day. When are you
possibly going to have time for any
of that shit? In fact, fuck it -
youíre leaving some of this shit
here in a locker. Come on - give me
the two that arenít clothes.

BANKY
Hold on.
(starts rifling through
one bag)

HOLDEN
What are you doing?

BANKY
I just have to get something.
(pulls out a huge
stack of porno books)

HOLDEN
Who are you, Larry fucking Flynt?
What are you going to do with all of
those?

BANKY
Read the articles. What do you think
Iím going to do with them? Theyíre
stroke books.

HOLDEN
Youíve got like thirty books there!
Weíre only there for two days!

BANKY
(leafing through mags)
Varietyís the spice of life. I like
a wide selection. Sometimes Iím in
the mood for nasty close-ups,
sometimes I like them arty and air-
brushed. Some times itís a spread
brown-eye kind of night, sometimes
itís girl-on-girl time. Sometimes a
steamy letter will do it, sometimes -
not often, but sometimes - I like
the idea of a chick with a horse.

A beeping sound is heard. Holden checks his beeper.

HOLDEN
Go check us in. Iíve gotta call
Alyssa.

BANKY
His masterís voice.

HOLDEN
Put that stuff away.

Holden exits. Banky starts packing his mags up. A little
KID enters, staring at him.

KID
What are those?

BANKY
(looks at kid then
books)
Do you Like horsies?

Holden finishes dialing the phone. Cross cut between him
and Alyssa at home.

ALYSSA
I hope for the sake of the women
youíve dated that youíre only this
quick in returning calls.

HOLDEN
Whatís up? Iím about to get on a
plane.

ALYSSA
Ohhh. Why!

HOLDEN
Last minute invite to the Dragon
Con.

ALYSSA
Shit.

HOLDEN
What?

ALYSSA
My sisterís at my parentsí. I was
gonna go see her.

HOLDEN
The one that wrote the book?

ALYSSA
Yeah. But I was staying all weekend,
and I wanted to hang out with you.
This sucks.

HOLDEN
You didnít get invited to the Con?

ALYSSA
I donít do southern conís - all the
chicks have that annoying drawl.
You know how hard it is nor to laugh
when someone moans "Fuhhk me"?

HOLDEN
Well this sucks.
(thinks)
You know - both of us donít have to
go.

ALYSSA
Really?

HOLDEN
Yeah. Banky can go by himself.
Itís not like weíre on a panel. It
was just a signing appearance.

ALYSSA
If you come pick me up, Iíll be your
best friend.

HOLDEN
(beat)
Whereís your apartment?

ALYSSA
Iím not there. Iím at a friendís -
in the Village. Corner of Houston
and Mercer. Number eighty six,
apartment 6-D.

HOLDEN
Iíll be there in half an hour.

ALYSSA
Youíre so easy.

They hang up. Holden reacts to something OC and exits
quickly.

Banky points to pictures in the book. The kid looks on.

BANKY
...And then Black Beauty couldnít
take it any longer, and he finally
did some of his own mounting.

KID
(off book)
Wow.

Holden grabs Bankyís arm and drags him away.

HOLDEN
What are you doing?

BANKY
(waving to kid)
I think I want kids of my own one
day. Theyíre fun.

HOLDEN
Listen to me - Iím not going. Youíre
going to have to do this one by
yourself.

BANKY
What? Why?

HOLDEN
Alyssaís coming down for the weekend,
so I want to hang out with her. You
donít need me for this.
(taking his excess
baggage)
Meantime, Iíll take this stuff home.
You can keep the filth. Iíll pick
you up at nine Sunday night, alright?
Donít forget to plug the Annual and
donít mention the t.v. show, okay?
Call me if you get bored.

And heís gone. Banky stands there, open-mouthed. A check-
in FLIGHT ATTENDANT comes up to him. His name-tag reads
ĎFrankí.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
Checking in, sir!

BANKY
(still watching Holden
go)
Hunhh!
(looks at F.A.)
Yeah. But this is carry-on.

F.A.
Federal aviation security law requires
me to ask if youíve been given any
strange gifts or parcels to carry-on
since arriving at the airport today.

BANKY
(thinks)
Not this trip. But one time, when I
was using curb side check-in, this
sky-cap gave me a cock ring and a
set of anal ben-wa balls. I always
thought that was pretty strange. He
said his name was Frank.
(looks closely at him)
Hey! Youíre nameís Frank!

Banky storms away. The Flight Attendant watches him go.

F.A.
Fucking kids.

EXT APARTMENT 6-D - DAY

Holden knocks at the door. It opens. A WOMAN is standing
in the doorway in her bra She looks Holden up and down and
smirks.

WOMAN
Let me guess - 'the right man'?

HOLDEN
Excuse me?

WOMAN
You've got it in your head that
Alyssa's not really into chicks -
that she just hasn't met the right
man. And you believe you're it.
You're going to treat her right,
fuck her like a stud, and 'straight-
jacket' her back from the land of
the lost. And the sad truth is that
you'll accomplish none of that and
wind up as either an even more bitter
misogynist or a reverse fag-hag.

Holden's at a loss. Alyssa slips past the Woman, carrying
an overnight bag.

ALYSSA
Don't mind her. That's just her way
a saying hello.

WOMAN
Actually, it's just my way of saying
"Give it up."

ALYSSA
(to Woman)
You're such an asshole.

WOMAN
When you file the date-rape charges,
don't say I didn't warn you.

HOLDEN
(holding out hand)
I'm Holden, by the way.

WOMAN
I'm the voice of reason that Miss
Bitch is having such a hard time
listening to.

HOLDEN
Look, we're just friends.

WOMAN
That's what every guy says before he
tries putting your hand on his dick.

HOLDEN
And how do you know men so well?

WOMAN
Because I lapdance for a living,
dick-head.

She slams the door. Holden looks to Alyssa.

ALYSSA
Ohhh - you look so cute!

She heads down the stairs.

HOLDEN
Who was that?

ALYSSA
Just an occasional friend.

HOLDEN
Why would you want to hang our with
someone bitter as that?

ALYSSA
(stops)
Remember this!
(sticks out huge tongue)
Her's is even bigger than that.

She smiles and continues on. Holden looks back up at the
door. He sticks his own tongue our and sizes it with his
fingers.

EXT TURNPIKE - DAY

The car sits in traffic.

INT CAR - DAY

Holden sighs. Alyssa plays with the radio.

ALYSSA
You were raised Catholic, right?

HOLDEN
Yeah. You?

ALYSSA
Baptist.

HOLDEN
Really? Did you have a strict
upbringing?

ALYSSA
Please. There was no time to be bad -
we were too busy saying 'Jesus'.

HOLDEN
You think your upbringing had
something to do with your lifestyle
choice?

ALYSSA
Somewhere along the line. It's a
gradual transition to make - from
doing what the majority does to taking
a leap of faith and doing what feels
more natural. Everything helps -
from the way you were handled as a
kid, to the way the boys acted in
third grade, to the shoes you wore
at your freshman prom.

HOLDEN
Shoes?

ALYSSA
Well they were really tight.

HANGING OUT MONTAGE BEGINS

With the requisite music, over which we hear a conversation
between Holden and Alyssa.

1) Holden and Alyssa sit in the DINER eating. Holden's
talking. The Waitress walks past and drops her pad. She
bends over, to pick it up, hiking her mini-skirt up in the
process. Alyssa stares at her ass. Holden stops talking
and stares at her. Alyssa looks over at him and offers a
caught smile.

2) Holden pushes a shopping cart at the FOOD STORE, throwing
various things into the basket. Alyssa comes up with a box
of Tampons and throws them in. Holden glances at them, a
bit flushed. Alyssa catches him, picks up the box, and pulls
one out. She proceeds to demonstrate their usage, throwing
one leg on the can and miming insertion. Holden puts up his
hands in the "I know, I know," fashion.

3) In the Studio, Holden displays some of his artwork to
Alyssa, during which she pulls out a cigarette and goes to
light it. It's a child-proof lighter, so she's having
trouble. Holden grows a little frustrated. Finally, he
grabs the lighter and pulls the child proof tab out with his
teeth. Alyssa stares at him a bit taken aback. Holden spits
the tab out, and lights Alyssa's smoke. He then continues
with his display.

4) Holden and Alyssa at the COMIC BOOK STORE. Steve-Dave
and the Fan-Boy eye them suspiciously. Alyssa pays for a
comic. Steve-Dave glowers at Holden. He gives Alyssa her
change and they exit. Steve-Dave goes back to his card game
with the Fan-Boy. Suddenly, a garbage can comes crashing
through their window. Steve-Dave rips a check off the garbage
can and punches the counter. The Fan-Boy rubs his back
soothingly,

5) Holden and Alyssa walk through a PARKING LOT, talking.
She takes his hand and pulls his arm around her shoulder.
Holden smiles to himself.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
Let me ask you something - we get
along, right?

ALYSSA (V.O.)
Famously.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
We have a definite chemistry?

ALYSSA (V.O.)
So it would seem.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
But we're both into girls.

ALYSSA (V.O.)
I'm into women.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
But you weren't always gay.

ALYSSA (V.O.)
When I was nine I had a crush on
Scott Baio.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
So, If we'd met a long time ago, say
in high school...

ALYSSA (V.O.)
...I'd still be muff-diving, yes.

HOLDEN (V.O.)
Thought so.

INT STUDIO - DAY

Holden and Banky play EA Sports Hockey on Sega. There's a
knock at the door.

HOLDEN
Come in.

Alyssa enters and stands besides them, smiling at their game.

ALYSSA
I read somewhere that guys who play
hockey are merely making up for penile
deficiencies by carrying big sticks.

BANKY
I thought you lived in the city?
This is like the umpteenth time I've
seen you here. Isn't that grounds
enough for the little pink mafia to
throw you out of their club?

HOLDEN
(hits Banky; to Alyssa)
I'll be ready in a second. I just
have to school this mouthy second-
stringer.

BANKY
Bitch, you're schooling no one.

They play. Cut back and forth between the game and Banky,
Holden, and Alyssa.

HOLDEN
(off game)
What? Do something!

BANKY
(off game)
You fucking cock-teaser. I'll knock
your fucking teeth out and pass all
over your ass.

HOLDEN
Look at how slow you are. Christ,
you move like a geriatric.

BANKY
(screaming at screen)
Fuck! You Fucking cock-sucker, man!
These faggots won't do what I tell
them to!

HOLDEN
Oh. It's the controller, right?
It's always the controller.

BANKY
No, it's these... fucking queers on
blades that can't accept a fucking
pass to save their lives! What period
is this?

HOLDEN
Final sixty of the third.

BANKY
Fuck! Look at your fucking guys,
they... FUCK!!!
(whips controller)
FUCKING COCK SUCKER, MAN! I SWEAR
TO GOD!

Banky storms away. Alyssa looks at Holden,

HOLDEN
Imagine if I'd only beaten him by
one instead of thirty.

INT. SKEE-BALL ARCADE - DAY

Holden feeds a couple dollars into the change machine. Alyssa
looks on.

ALYSSA
Explain this again.

HOLDEN
How could you have grown up down the
shore and never played skee-ball?
What did you do with your youth?

They head toward the skee-ball runs.

ALYSSA
Stayed out late, smoked pot, screwed
around.

HOLDEN
Not your grade school years; your
high school years.

ALYSSA
(off skee-ball run)
This looks complicated.

HOLDEN
(Inserts coin and
pulls lever)
The premise is very basic - you roll
the ball up the ramp at varying
speeds, in an effort to pop it into
the score circles. The higher the
score, the more prize tickets you
get.

ALYSSA
What do you do with the prize tickets?

HOLDEN
Trade them in for prizes that aren't
worth nearly as much as you paid to
play the game.

ALYSSA
Then what's the point?

HOLDEN
It's fun.

ALYSSA
And you question my lifestyle.

HOLDEN
Observe.

Holden rolls the ball. It pops into a twenty point circle.

HOLDEN
See? It's just that simple.

ALYSSA
Why not just walk up there and put
it in the fifty every time?

HOLDEN
Where's the skill in that?

ALYSSA
Oh, this is a skill? I'm sorry, I
had no idea.

HOLDEN
Just toss one.

Alyssa picks up a ball, squints to aim, and whips it overhand.
It pops off one of the circles and shoots back at them,
missing them as they duck. An OC knock and an "OW!" is heard.
Holden reacts as Alyssa laughs.

HOLDEN
(to OC guy)
I'm sorry, man. She's new at this.

Holden ducks as the ball comes sailing back at his head. He
gets up.

HOLDEN
(to OC)
Thank you.
(hands Alyssa another
ball)
Underhand. Throw it underhand.

ALYSSA
This is where you take straight chicks
on dates?

HOLDEN
It's like Spanish Fly. This'll
probably be the first time I don't
score afterwards.

ALYSSA
I don't know. I'm starting to get a
tingle in my bottom.
(tosses a ball)
Ten.

HOLDEN
(grabs a ball)
So what'd you do last night?
(prepares to throw)

ALYSSA
Got laid

Holden whips the ball in surprise. It ricochets off the
ceiling and through the glass of an old pinball machine.
Alyssa laughs. Holden looks around, nervously.

ALYSSA
Some more of that skill you were
telling me about?

HOLDEN
Maybe we should just leave before
somebody gets hurt.

ALYSSA
No way. I want a cheap prize.
(throws a ball)
So your friend's quite the homophobe.

HOLDEN
He just feels left out, I think.

ALYSSA
I'm not talking about his infantile
hang-up with me. I'm talking about
when you two were playing that game.
Everytime he swore - when his players
messed up, he called them cocksuckers,
he referred to the players as queers,
he called you a cock-teaser...

HOLDEN
I thought he was talking to you.

ALYSSA
I know you think it means nothing,
and it may in fact be unintentional,
but it's ugly all the same.

HOLDEN
He was just pissed he was losing.

ALYSSA
So he slams the gay community?

HOLDEN
C'mon. Don't get all p.c. on me.

ALYSSA
I'm not. But what is that saying?

HOLDEN
It says he gets too easily frustrated.

ALYSSA
It's passive/agressive gay-bashing.

HOLDEN
How do you figure?

ALYSSA
How casually did it roll off his
tongue? And that's how he expresses
his anger? By calling people faggots?

HOLDEN
I think you're reading too much into
it.

ALYSSA
I think you're just so used to it
that it rolls off your back. I've
heard the two of you play your little
rank out game where one insists the
other is gay.
(as the boys)
"You're a faggot. No, you're a
faggot." It's cute and all to watch
you go at it like grade-schooler,
but it's also offensive - labeling
and ducking the label of being gay
as if it were the scarlet fucking
letter.

HOLDEN
You're blowing this way out of
proportion. We live in a more
tolerant age now. You refer to
yourself as a dyke. Hooper calls
himself a faggot all the time...

ALYSSA
Yeah, but that's what's known as
empowerment/disempowerment. I call
myself a dyke so it's not too
devastating when some throwback
screams it at me as I'm leaving a
bar at night. Same for Hooper - by
calling himself a faggot, he steals
the thunder away from the mouthy
jerks of this world who'd like to
beat him to it. But the difference
between us having it and your friend
saying it is miles wide. We say it
to mask the pain - you say it for
lack of a better expression at any
given moment. No Holden, we do not
live in a more tolerant age. And if
you think that's the case, then you've
been in the suburbs way too long to
be resuscitated.

Holden kind of sulks. Alyssa notices.

ALYSSA
But you know what?
(picks up his face)
I have more faith in you than that.
(rips her tickets off)
Come on - I want my cheap prize.

INT. STUDIO - NIGHT

Holden enters. Banky's still playing Sega. Holden sits
next to him.

HOLDEN
(off screen)
How bad do you suck!

BANKY
How was your pseudo-date?

HOLDEN
Leave it alone.

BANKY
That chick bugs me.

HOLDEN
(rubs his head; in
baby-talk)
Aww. Everyone bugs you.

BANKY
Get off.
(off game)
Fucking faggot! Did you see that?!
Your dyke courting ass just got me
scored on!

HOLDEN
(beat)
You know, you should watch that. If
you're going to get all bent out of
shape while playing the game, so
much so that you need to curse the
t.v., try not to gay-bash it, alright.
You're not that kind of guy.
(gets up)
And don't call her a dyke, alright?
She's a lesbian.

Holden goes to his drawing table and takes off his coat.
Banky sits there, shocked. He puts the controller down and
crosses to the drawing table.

BANKY
What the fuck is going on here?

HOLDEN
(pulling out pencil)
I'm starting a new page.

BANKY
(smacking pencil away)
Not with this shit! With you. What
the fuck is going on with you and
that girl?

HOLDEN
We're friends.

BANKY
She's programming you.

HOLDEN
I beg your pardon? Programming?

BANKY
Yeah. And apparently, you don't
even realize it. What does it matter
if I refer to her as a dyke, or if I
call the Whalers a bunch of faggots
in the privacy of my own office, far
from the sensitive ears of the rest
of the world?

HOLDEN
It's passive/aggressive gay-bashing;
and I know you're not really
prejudiced at heart. You should
just find some other way to express
your anger, is all I'm saying.

Holden starts drawing. Banky stares at him. Then he grabs
the pencil out of Holden's hand and shoves him to the side.
He starts drawing something.

HOLDEN
What the fuck are you doing!

BANKY
Bear with me here. I just want to
put you through this little exercise.
(drawing feverishly)
Okay, now see this? This is a four
way road, okay?

Banky draws a four-way stop. He illustrates according to
his voice-over.

BANKY (V.O.)
And dead in the center, is a crisp,
new, hundred dollar bill. Now at
the end of each of the streets, are
four people, okay? You following?
Up here, we got a male-affectionate,
easy-to-get-along-with, no political
agenda lesbian. Okay? Now down
here, we have a man-hating, angry-as-
fuck, agenda-of-rage, bitter dyke.
To this side, we got Santa Claus,
right? And over to this side - the
Easter Bunny.

Banky finishes drawing. Holden's shaking his head

BANKY
Which one's going to get to the
hundred dollar bill first?

HOLDEN
What is this supposed to prove?

BANKY
I'm serious. This is a serious
exercise. It's like an S.A.T.
question. Which one's going to get
to the hundred dollar bill first -
the male-friendly lesbian, the man-
hating dyke, Santa Claus, or the
Easter Bunny?

HOLDEN
(beat; then pissed)
The man-hating dyke.

BANKY
Good. Why?

HOLDEN
I don't know.

BANKY
(wildly crossing out
the other three)
BECAUSE THESE OTHER THREE ARE FIGMENTS
OF YOUR FUCKING IMAGINATION!

Holden storms away. Banky follows.

HOLDEN
I don't need this. I'm going home.

BANKY
She's fucking with your mind, man!
She knows you've got this schoolboy
crush and she's using it to sway
your way of thinking!

HOLDEN
And why would she need to do that?
What is she Mata fucking Hari?!
What does she gain?

BANKY
Maybe she thinks you'll get her comic
picked up by Contender. Or maybe
she thinks you'll change the content
of our book to something more
political and message oriented. Or,
gee - I don't know - maybe because
that's just what dykes like to do:
fuck around with straight guys' heads,
just so she can go back to her little
rug-muncher club and have a good
laugh with all her man-hating harpy
cronies about how fucking stupid and
easily duped men are!

HOLDEN
You're so out of line right now...,

BANKY
You don't even know this girl! Big
deal, she's from Middletown and she
went to North! All the girls at
North were bitches and sluts anyway!
And this one's got them beat by a
mile because she's a bitch/slut/dyke!

HOLDEN
Watch your fucking mouth, is all I'm
going to tell you...

BANKY
Oh why? Do you get my back when she
bashes me? Because I know she does.
And do you know why she does? Because
I won't play her fucking game!

HOLDEN
Sometimes your paranoia and suspicious
bullshit is amusing. Sometimes it's
just fucking annoying as piss!

BANKY
What is it about this girl? You
know you have no shot at getting her
into bed! Why do you bother wasting
time with her? Because you're Holden
fucking McNeil - most persistent
traveler on the road that's not the
path of least resistance!
Everything's gotta be a fucking
challenge for you, and this little
relationship with that bitch is a
prime example of your fucking
condition. Well I don't need a
fucking magic eight ball to look
into your future; you want a forecast?
Here - will Holden ever fuck Alyssa.
(shakes and looks at
imaginary ball)
What a shock - "Not fucking likely"!
This relationship of your's is
affecting you, our work and our
friendship, and the time's going to
come when I throw down the gauntlet
and say it's me or her! And then
what're you going to say?!

HOLDEN
(beat)
I think you should let this one go.

BANKY
No, what would you say? Would you
trash twenty years of friendship
because you've got some idiotic notion
that this chick would even let you
sniff her panties, let alone fuck
her?!

HOLDEN
Let it go...

BANKY
What the fuck... WHAT THE FUCK MAKES
THIS BITCH ALL THAT IMPORTANT?!?!

Holden looks at Banky for a long beat.

HOLDEN
I'm in love with her, man.

Banky stares at him. Holden stares back. Banky looks into
Holden's eyes. Suddenly, he softens a bit. He drops his
head.

BANKY
Fuck.

Banky walks away. Holden watches him go and exits.

INT. DINER - NIGHT

Holden and Alyssa sit at a booth. Alyssa picks through her
food. Holden looks at the check and pulls money from his
wallet.

HOLDEN
I wish you were the one being pursued
by M-TV.

ALYSSA
Oh really?

HOLDEN
Sure. Then you could sell out and
maybe pick up the check once in
awhile.

ALYSSA
(drops her fork and
wipes her hands)
We're leaving!

HOLDEN
Well it's not like this is a bed and
breakfast,

ALYSSA
I've got a little business to conduct.

She grabs her bag and slides out of the booth. Holden watches
her, then follows.

Alyssa slides up to the cashier's desk as does Holden, who
offers a puzzled shrug. Alyssa offers the 'just wait' finger.
The CASHIER turns to her.

ALYSSA
Are you an authorized deal-maker in
this establishment? Do you have the
power to negotiate.

CASHIER
You wanna haggle over the price of
your French Dip?

ALYSSA
I want to haggle over the price of
fine art.

CASHIER
What do you mean?

ALYSSA
(pointing OC)
There. By the kitchen. That
painting.

CASHIER
What about it?

ALYSSA
The price tag says seventy five.

CASHIER
So!

HOLDEN
(to Alyssa)
Tell me you're kidding!

ALYSSA
I'll give you fifty.

CASHIER
(to OC)
Manuel! Bring, me the Dyksiezski
off the wall.
(to Alyssa)
All my years in the diner business,
I've waited for this day - the day
when someone wanted to buy one of
the pictures.

ALYSSA
(holds out hand)
Alyssa Jones. Pleased to meet you.

CASHIER
You say you want to haggle, but you
don't know rule one about haggling,
which you just broke: you never give
your name. The name is power, and
to give the opponent that piece of
you is to give away victory.

ALYSSA
I'm only trying to conduct a
transaction. We're not opponents.

CASHIER
(accepting painting
from BUSBOY)
Oh, but we are - if you think I'm
letting this beautiful piece go for
fifty.

ALYSSA
Ah-ha!
(to Holden)
Now we're haggling.

INT. CAR - NIGHT

It's drizzling outside. Holden drives. Alyssa hugs her
painting and pushes her bare feet against the windshield,
making footprints.

HOLDEN
I've always wondered what kind of
people buy those things. I can't
believe you talked him down to twenty
five!

ALYSSA
It was looking shakey when he told
me the artist was a blind cripple
with a hump-back, but I held my
ground. There's no room for sympathy
in the buyer's market.

HOLDEN
Where are you going to hang it?

ALYSSA
I'm not. You are.

HOLDEN
You want me to hang it for you? You
better hope it doesn't get out to
the girl-nation that you needed a
man to help you hang a picture.

ALYSSA
You're going to hang it in your house.
I bought it for you.

HOLDEN
(laughs)
Yeah, right.

ALYSSA
(looks at him)
I'm serious.

Holden stares at her.

HOLDEN
Why?

ALYSSA
Because it's captured the moment.
It'll be a constant reminder - not
just of tonight, but of our
introduction, the building of our
friendship, everything. Make no
mistake about it my Friend - it's a
gift to you, from me, so you'll always
remember us.

Holden stares ahead. Then he swerves the wheel to the right.

EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT

The car pulls to the side of the road. The rain is a bit
heavier now.

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Holden throws the car into park

ALYSSA
Why are we stopping?

HOLDEN
Because I can't take it.

ALYSSA
Can't take what?

HOLDEN
I love you.

ALYSSA
(beat)
You love me.

HOLDEN
I love you. And not in a friendly
way, although I think we're great
friends. And not in a misplaced
affection, puppy-dog way, although
I'm sure that's what you'll call it.
And it's not because you're
unattainable. I love you. Very
simple, very truly. You're the
epitome of every attribute and quality
I've ever looked for in another
person. I know you think of me as
just a friend and crossing that line
is the furthest thing from an option
you'd ever consider. But I can't do
this any longer. I can't stand next
to you without wanting to hold you.
I can't look into your eyes without
feeling that longing you only read
about in trashy romance novels. I
can't talk to you without wanting to
express my love for everything you
are. I know this will probably queer
our friendship - no pun intended -
but I had to say it, because I've
never felt this before, and I like
who I am because of it. And if
bringing it to light means we can't
hang out anymore, then that hurts
me. But I couldn't allow another
day to go by without getting it out
there, regardless of the outcome,
which by the look on your face is to
be the inevitable shoot-down. And
I'll accept that. But I know some
part of you is hesitating for a
moment, and if there is a moment of
hesitation, that means you feel
something too. All I ask is that
you not suppress that - at least for
ten minutes - and try to dwell in it
before you dismiss it. There isn't
another soul on this fucking planet
who's ever made me the person I am
when I'm with you, and I would risk
this friendship for the chance to
take it to the next plateau. Because
it's there between you and me. You
can't deny that. And even if we
never speak again after tonight,
please know that I'm forever changed
because of you and what you've meant
to me, which - while I do appreciate
it - I'd never need a painting of
birds bought at a diner to remind me
of.

Holden stares at Alyssa. She stares back. Then she gets
out of the car.

HOLDEN
Was it something I said?

EXT. ROADSIDE - NIGHT

Holden gets out of the car. It's raining pretty hard now.
Alyssa's hitching up the road. Holden reaches her.

HOLDEN
What are you doing?

ALYSSA
Get back in the car and get out of
here.

HOLDEN
You're going to hitch to New York?

ALYSSA
Y'ep.

HOLDEN
Aren't you at least going to comment?

ALYSSA
Here's my comment, fuck you.

HOLDEN
Why?

ALYSSA
That was so unfair. You know how
unfair that was.

HOLDEN
It's unfair that I'm in love with
you?

ALYSSA
No, it's unfortunate that you're in
love with me. It's unfair that you
felt the fucking need to unburden
your soul about it. Do you remember
for a fucking second who I am?

HOLDEN
So? People change.

ALYSSA
Oh, it's that simple? You fall in
love with me and want a romantic
relationship, nothing changes for
you with the exception of feeling
hunky-dorey all the time. But what
about me? It's not that simple, is
it? I can't just get into a
relationship with you without throwing
my whole fucking world into upheaval!

HOLDEN
But that's every relationship!
There's always going to be a period
of adjustment.

ALYSSA
Period of adjustment?!?
(hitting him)
THERE'S NO 'PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT'
HOLDEN! I'M FUCKING GAY! THAT'S
WHO I AM! AND YOU ASSUME I CAN TURN
THAT AROUND JUST BECAUSE YOU'VE GOT
A CRUSH?!?

HOLDEN
If this is a crush... then I don't
know if I could take the real thing
if it ever happens.

She looks at him, rain drenching the pair. She shakes her
head ruefully.

ALYSSA
Go home, Holden.

She walks away. Holden stands there, at a loss. Then he
turns and heads back to his car. As he reaches the door and
turns to look back at her, Alyssa pounces on him, grabs his
face and locks lips with him, big time. He drops his keys
and embraces her.

And there they stand, by the side of the road, drenched
kissing.

EXT. STUDIO - DAY

Banky carries a bag in one arm and pulls out his keys with
the other. He jams them into the lock, opening the door.
He picks up the mail on the floor.

INT. STUDIO - DAY

He closes the door behind him and shuffles to the kitchenette,
passing by the blanket-covered, slumbering forms of Holden
and Alyssa, who are out cold in each other's arms. The place
looks a mess - Like a couple of people were engaged in some
tremendous fucking. Banky is oblivious. He sets the bag
down on the counter and pulls out a chocolate milk. He opens
it, sticks a straw into the top, and begins sipping and
sifting through the mail. He comes to mail that's Holden's
and tosses it onto the couch, near Holden's head. He looks
down at the sleeping couple, then back at the mail for a
couple of beats. Then he freezes. He looks down again, and
drops his jaw and his carton of choco. It hits the floor
with a pop. Holden and Alyssa shoot straight up, eyes
struggling to focus. They look at one another, then at the
flabbergasted Banky. Banky blinks. Then he shuffles toward
the door again and lets himself out.

ALYSSA
(off Holden's reaction)
I take it that's not good.

HOLDEN
(getting up)
Stay here.
(he kisses her and
exits)

EXT. STREET - DAY

Banky sits on a curb, staring into the distance, Holden
saunters up and sits beside him. He follows Banky's gaze.

BANKY
Catholic school girls.

Across the street, the Catholic High School is letting out.
Teenage girls clad in uniforms and tight sweaters smoke,
frolic, wait for their bus.

BANKY
The uniform is what does it for me.
I wish I'd have went with more
Catholic school girls when I was a
kid. As it stands. I have no "...and
then she unzipped her jumper..."
stories.

HOLDEN
You looked weirded out back there.

BANKY
That's my couch you were fucking on.

HOLDEN
Sorry.

BANKY
I wanted to watch some TV. Hard to
do when your best friend's wrapped
around a naked rug-muncher on your
couch.

HOLDEN
She had boxers on.

Banky shoots him a glare. He goes back to staring at the OC
girls.

BANKY
This is all going to end badly.

HOLDEN
You don't know that.

BANKY
I know you. You're way too
conservative for that girl. She's
been around and seen things we've
only read about in books.

HOLDEN
But we have read about them. So
we're prepared.

BANKY
There's no 'we' here. You're going
to have to go through this alone.
And it's one thing to read about
shit, and something different when
you're forced to deal with it on a
regular basis. When you guys are
walking in the mall and both your
heads turn at a really nice looking
chick, it's going to eat you up
inside. You'll spend most of your
time wondering when the other shoe's
going to drop. Because for you,
this isn't about cool weird sex stuff,
it's about love.

HOLDEN
Maybe it is for her as well.

BANKY
Somehow I doubt it.

HOLDEN
Everyone's not out to get someone in
life, Bank.

BANKY
Everybody has an agenda. Everyone.

HOLDEN
Yourself?

BANKY
My agenda is to watch your back.

HOLDEN
To what end?

BANKY
To insure that all this time we've
spent together, building something,
wasn't wasted.

HOLDEN
She's not going to ruin the comic.

BANKY
I wasn't talking about the comic.
(gets up)
I'm going to get a bagel. Clean off
my fucking couch so I can watch TV.

Banky walks away. Holden shakes his head.

INT. ALYSSA'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

An all-girl gathering. TORY, NICA, DALIA and JANE help Alyssa
finish an issue of 'Idiosyncratic Routine'. Tory letters a
page. Nica and Dalia lay-out the artwork. Dalia drinks
wine. Alyssa paints the cover.

DALIA
From what I understand, when you
sign with a publisher, someone else
does all this work for you, and you
just sit back and collect.

ALYSSA
And miss these last minute cram
sessions with my nearest and dearest?
Never.

TORY
I don't know what she's bitching
about. All she's done since we got
here is pound Merlot.

DALIA
I'm sorry weren't you the one who
misspelled 'receipt' on page eighteen?
Yeah, you're a real help.

NICA
What I'd like to know is why we're
here at all when we haven't seen
Princess funny-Book in a month.

JANE
Yeah Alyssa - who've you been shacking
up with?

ALYSSA
'Shacking up!' Please.
(stops painting; smiles
wide)
I'm so in love!

Everyone aww's. Alyssa buries her face, giggling.

ALYSSA
I know. I know - I feel like such a
goon. But I can't help it - we have
such a great time together.

DALIA
Who is it? Don't even tell me it's
Ms. Thing from the C.D. place. I'll
kill you.

ALYSSA
It's not her. It's someone you guys
don't know.

NICA
That chick you left the restaurant
with that night?

ALYSSA
They're not. From around here.

TORY
Don't even tell me you met her down
the shore!

JANE
Eww! Not a bridge-and-tunnel Jersey
dyke!

TORY
With huge hair and acid-washed jeans!

They all cackle. Alyssa tries to laugh with them.

DALIA
Come on, Alyss - Hoboken Hussy or
what?

ALYSSA
For your information, they don't
have big hair or wear acid wash.
(goes back to painting)
They're from my home town.

Dalia stares at Alyssa, suspiciously.

DALIA
Why are you playing the pronoun game?

ALYSSA
What? What are you talking about?
I'm not even.

DALIA
You are. "I met someone." "We have
a great time. "They're from my home
town." Doesn't this tube of wonderful
have a name!

ALYSSA
(beat)
Holden.

All four Girls stare at Alyssa, a bit horrified. She stops
painting.

JANE
Oh, Alyssa - no. Not you.

TORY
You're dating a guy?

ALYSSA
He's not like a typical man. He's
really sweet to me, and we relate so
well. You guys'd love him, really.

They stare at Alyssa. Then Dalia gets up.

DALIA
I've gotta go to the store.

JANE
I'll go with.

They exit. Alyssa looks to Tory and Nica.

TORY
(pouring wine)
Whelp - here's to both of you.
(moves the glass to
her lips)
Another one bites the dust.

INT. HOLDEN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Holden and Alyssa lie in each other's arms, moonlight bathing
them. She smokes.

HOLDEN
Can I ask you something?

ALYSSA
Don't even tell me you want to do it
again.

HOLDEN
Why me - you know? Why now?

ALYSSA
Because you were giving me that look,
and I got wet...

HOLDEN
You know what I'm talking about.

ALYSSA
Why not You?

HOLDEN
I'm a guy. You're attracted to girls.

ALYSSA
I see you've been taking notes.
Historically, yes that's true.

HOLDEN
Then why this?

ALYSSA
I've given that a lot of thought,
you know? I mean, now that I'm being
ostracized by my friends, I've had a
lot of time to think about all of
this. And what I've come up with is
really simple: I came to this on my
terms. I didn't just heed what I
was taught, you know? Men and women
should be together, it's the natural
way - that kind of thing. I'm not
with you because of what family,
society, life tried to instill in me
from day one. The way the world is -
how seldom you meet that one person
who gets you... it's so rare. My
parents didn't really have it. There
was no example set for me in the
world of male/female relationships.
And to cut oneself off from finding
that person - to immediately half
your options by eliminating the
possibility of finding that one person
within your own gender... that just
seemed stupid. So I didn't. And by
leaving my options open, I was branded
'gay', which to me was no big deal -
labels are labels, you know? They
define what you do, not who you are,
I guess. But then you come along.
You - the one least likely; I mean,
you were a guy.

HOLDEN
Still am.

ALYSSA
And while I was falling for you, I
put a ceiling on that, because you
were a guy. Until I remembered why
I opened the door to women in the
first place - to not limit the
likelihood of finding that one person
who'd compliment me so completely.
And so here we are, I was thorough
when I looked for you, and I feel
justified lying in your arms - because
I got here on my terms, and have no
question that there was someplace I
didn't look. And that makes all the
difference.

HOLDEN
(beat)
Shit.

ALYSSA
What?

HOLDEN
Well, you took the luster our of it.

ALYSSA
What luster?

HOLDEN
(joking - in case you
didn't get it)
Of how I brought you back from the
other side. How all you needed was
the right man to turn you around.

ALYSSA
You're not the right man.
(kisses him)
You're just the one.

She snuggles into him and closes her eyes. Holden stares at
the ceiling.

HOLDEN
Can I at least tell people that all
you needed was some serious deep-
dicking?

She hits him with her pillow.

THE BIG OL' FALLING-IN-LOVE MONTAGE BEGINS

1) In Holden's Apartment - Alyssa waves in various directions,
shaking her head accordingly. Then she puts up her hands to
stop. Cut to Holden, hanging the picture. Alyssa gave him.
It hangs at a severely crooked angle. He looks back to her
and shakes his head 'no'.

2) Holden and Alyssa try to play a video game. Banky plays
as well. Holden instructs her in the ways of NHL '96 (turning
her paddle right-side-up, pointing at things on the screen).
She presses the reset button, over and over. Banky gives
Holden a 'What the fuck?' look. Alyssa sticks her tongue at
him.

3) At the Video Store - Holden picks up a Disney cartoon off
the shelf. He goes to show if to Alyssa, who's reading the
back of 'Anything But Dick', an allchick porno. An old WOMAN
stares at her. Holden nods to the old Woman and takes the
tape out of Alyssa's hands, putting it back on the shelf.
He ushers her away. The old Woman waits until they're gone
and then picks up the tape herself,

4) Holden carries Alyssa on his shoulders through the park,
her crotch against the back of his neck. He's talking. She
taps him and he stops and looks up. She begins to maneuver
around so her crotch is in his face. He pulls her off and
put her down. She's laughing. He's flushed with
embarrassment. The same Old Woman from the Video store passes
by with her husband. Holden shrugs.

5) In Holden's Apartment again - Alyssa again with the waving,
then putting up her hands to stop. Cut to Holden again,
this time with the painting hung completely upside down. He
looks at it, then offers her a bewildered gaze.

6) In the Office Banky comes to his drawing table. There
are penciled pages on it with a note that says "Hanging out
with Alyssa today. Holden". Banky crumples it up and throws
it across the room.

7) In Holden's Apartment - Alyssa waves this way, then that
way, then puts up her hands frantically to stop. She settles
back against the wall, a satisfied smile crawling across her
face, and closes her eyes. We pull back to reveal Holden on
his knees in front of her, eating her out (no, we don't see
anything!).

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Holden draws. A book is thrown in front of him. He looks
up. Banky stands there.

BANKY
Check out page forty eight.

Holden looks down at that book. It's the Nineteen Eighty
Eight yearbook from Middletown North. He shakes his head at
Banky and flips it open.

On the page is Alyssa's Senior year photo. Under her name
is another name in quotes that says 'Finger Cuffs'.

HOLDEN
(looking up)
So?

BANKY
Did you see the nickname?

HOLDEN
'Finger Cuffs'.

BANKY
And...?

HOLDEN
And... she had a weird nick-name.
What's your point?

BANKY
Do you know why it's 'Finger Cuffs'?

HOLDEN
I suppose you do.

BANKY
I do.
(takes a seat)
You remember Cohee Lundin? Left
Hudson and went to North our senior
year?

HOLDEN
Yeah.

BANKY
Well, I ran into him at Food City
the other day, and we got to talking,
and I mentioned that you were dating
Alyssa, and he said..

CUT TO COHEE LUNDON. In the PARKING LOT of FOOD CITY,
addressing the camera.

COHEE
Alyssa Jones? Shit. I know Alyssa
Jones. I mean, I know Alyssa Jones,
you know what I'm saying? Me and
Rick Derris used to hang our with
her for awhile, right? Just hanging
around her house after school, 'cuz
her parents were like never home,
and shit. And one day, Rick just
whips it out, and starts rubbing it
on her leg and shit; chasing her
around the living room - I was dying.
But you know what the crazy bitch
did? She fucking drops to her knees,
and just starts sucking him off right
in front of me! Like I wasn't even
there man! I almost died! But that's
not the fucked up part - the fucked
up part was Rick, man - right in the
middle of it, he turns to me and
he's pointing at her and he says
"Cohee." Just like that - "Cohee."
So I'm like I'll give it a shot.
And I start pulling her pants down
all slow, 'cuz I figure any second
she's gonna turn around and belt me
in the mouth, right? But yo, check
this shit out - she's all into it
man! She don't try to stop me or
nothing! She's all wet and shit,
and I just went to work, know what
I'm saying? Me and Rick are going
to town on this crazy bitch, and
she's just loving it, all moaning
and shit! It was fucked up! So
Rick's the one that came up with the
nickname - 'cuz that day, she had us
locked in tight from both sides -
like a pair of goddamn Chinese finger
cuffs!

BACK IN THE OFFICE - Holden stares at Banky.

HOLDEN
He's full of shit.

BANKY
Cohee's a lot of things, but an
exaggerator he's not. The dude's
Catholic.

HOLDEN
She's never even been with a guy.

BANKY
That's what she says. But I say her
on her hands and knees getting filled
out like an application constitutes
'being with a guy'.

HOLDEN
He's pulling your chain. And the
fact that you even bought it for a
second makes you look like an idiot.

BANKY
I'm getting your back, asshole!
People don't forget shit like 'Finger
Cuffs'. And if it got out that she's
queer as well, how do you think it's
going to make you look?

HOLDEN
I give a shit what people think.

BANKY
Alright, forget about that; what if
she's carrying a disease? That was
just one story - what if there's
more?

HOLDEN
(grabs his coat)
You're such a fucking asshole.

BANKY
What? Oh, it's not possible that
she's all crudded up? Cohee I can
vouch for as clean - the dude never
got laid in high school. But Derris
is an arch fucking bush-man! Name
me one chick in our senior class
that Rick Derris didn't nail, for
Christ's sake!

HOLDEN
Would you let this go? I'm telling
you - she's never even been with a
guy, let alone those two zeroes.

BANKY
And I'm telling you, the bitch could
be a bigger fucking germ farm than
that monkey in 'Outbreak'!

Holden grabs Banky and pins him against the wall.

HOLDEN
Give it a rest! Do you hear me?!
I'm tired of this shit! She's my
goddamn girlfriend, do you
understand?! Show her a little
fucking respect! And if you ever
even so much as mention that Alyssa
looks a little peaked from now on,
I'll put your fucking teeth down
your throat!

He releases Banky. Banky brushes himself off.

BANKY
Maybe I'll put your fucking teeth
down your throat.

HOLDEN
(walking out)
Not bloody likely.

Banky runs to the open door.

BANKY
(calling after him)
I've been working out you know!
(no response)
You better be ready to make that M-
TV deal!

The downstairs door slams. Banky makes a muscle, then feels
it.

INT. TOWER RECORDS - DAY

Holden and Hooper peruse laser discs.

HOOPER
Where's that bitch partner of your's
been?

HOLDEN
Sulking. He's having a real problem
with this Alyssa thing.

HOOPER
I think it's more like Banky's having
a problem with all things not hetero
right about now. And I'm just another
paradigm of said aberration.

HOLDEN
Banky does not hate gays, you know
that.

HOOPER
But I do think he is a bit homophobic.
And this latest episode between you
and Ms. Thing has tapped into that.
In his warped perception, he lost
you to the dark side - which is she.

HOLDEN
You make it sound like me and him
were dating.

HOOPER
Don't kid yourself - that boy loves
you in a way that he's not ready to
deal with.

HOLDEN
(beat)
He's been digging up dirt on Alyssa.

HOOPER
And just what has Mister Angela
Lansbury uncovered about your lady
fair?

HOLDEN
He heard some bullshit story that
she took on two guys.

HOOPER
Really? Well then he's barking up
the wrong we if he wants to split
you up, isn't he? He's not going to
make you see the error of your ways
by pointing out how truly gay she's
not
(holds up a disc)
This one?

HOLDEN
Have it.
(beat)
Actually, it's kind of gotten to me.

HOOPER
How so?

HOLDEN
Banky's not known for believing
misinformation. He's got a pretty
good bullshit detector.

HOOPER
So, what if it is true? Would that
bother you?

HOLDEN
Sex with multiple partners?

Hooper lets our a faux-shock shriek.

HOLDEN
At the same time.

Again, even louder, hands slapped against his cheeks.

HOLDEN
Thanks for being so comforting.

HOOPER
So what do you care?

HOLDEN
Well that's the thing, isn't it? I
shouldn't... but it gets to me.

HOOPER
Kind of gal Alyssa is, you don't
think she's been in the middle of an
all - girl group-grope?

HOLDEN
You see - that doesn't bother me.
But the thought of her and guys...
Uh!

HOOPER
Oh Holden, I beg you - please don't
drop fifty stories in my opinion of
you by falling prey to that latest
of trendy beasts.

HOLDEN
Which is?

HOOPER
Lesbian chic. It's oh-so acceptable
to be a gay girl nowadays. People
think it's cute, because they've got
this fool picture in their heads
about lipstick lesbians - like they
all resemble Alyssa - while most of
them look more like you.

HOLDEN
Do I detect a little inter-subculture
cattiness?

HOOPER
Gay or straight - ugly's still ugly.
And most of those boys are scary.

HOLDEN
I thought fags were all supposed to
be super-supportive of one another.

HOOPER
Screw that 'all for one' shit. I
gotta deal with being the minority
in the minority of the minority, and
nobody's supporting my ass? While
the whole of society is fawning over
girls-on-girls, here I sit - a reviled
gay man, and to top that off, I'm a
gay black man - notoriously the most
swishy of the bunch.

HOLDEN
Three strikes.

HOOPER
Hey, hey! There's a line.

A young BLACK KID approaches Hooper, holding a comic book.

KID
Are you Hooper X?

HOOPER
(in militant mode)
A-salaam Alaikum, little brother.

KID
Could you sign my comic?

HOOPER
(signing comic; nods
to Holden)
See that guy there? He's the devil,
you understand? Never take your eye
off the Man. Our people took their
eyes off him one time, and he had us
in chains in two shakes of his snake's
tail.

The Kid offers Holden an angry look. Hooper gives him back
his comic.

HOOPER
Fight the power, little 'G'.

KID
Word is bond

The Kid leaves, Hooper slips back into his real voice.

HOOPER
Look at what I have to resort to for
professional respect. What is it
about gay men that terrifies the
rest of the world.
(shakes his head)
As for this hang-up with Alyssa's
past, maybe what's really bothering
you is that your fragile fantasy
might not be true.

HOLDEN
What do you mean?

HOOPER
Holden - don't even try to come off
like you don't know what I'm saying.
Men need to believe that they're
Marco fucking Polo when it comes to
sex - like they're the only ones
who've ever explored new territory.
And it's hard not to let them believe
it. I let my boys run with it for
awhile - feed them some of that "I've
never done this before..." bullshit,
and let 'em labor under the delusion
that they rockin' my world, until I
can't stand them anymore. Then I
hit 'em with the truth. It's a sick
game. The world would be a better
place if people would just accept
that there's nothing new under the
sun, and everything you can do with
a person has probably been done long
before you got there.

HOLDEN
I can accept that.

HOOPER
Honey, that almost sounded convincing.
Do yourself a favor - just ask her
about her past, point blank. Get it
out of the way, before it gets too
big for both ya'll to move.
(spotting something
OC)
Oooh! 'Myra Breckinridge'!

Hooper trots off, Holden glances at the disc in his hands.
Pictured on it are two gorgeous chicks, barely clad, making
out. The title is 'Men Suck... and so do Girls - All XXX
Action.'

INT. HOCKEY RINK - NIGHT

On the ice, two teams clash, chasing the puck up and back,
checking galore.

In the bleachers, amidst a slew of fans, Alyssa watches the
game with a large degree of enjoyment. Sitting beside her,
Holden doesn't seem to share her enthusiasm.

ALYSSA
Since most of these people are rooting
for the home team, I'm going to cheer
for the visitors. I'm a big visitors
fan - especially the kind that make
coffee for you in the morning before
they go.
(smiles at Holden; no
response)
That was a joke. A little wacky
wordplay?

HOLDEN
What do you mean, 'visitors'?

ALYSSA
Was I being too obscure? The kind
that - until recently - had no dicks
and would spend the night.

HOLDEN
So that was until recently!

ALYSSA
Oh, yeah.
(shouting; to ice)
Hey - foul! Foul! He was traveling
or something!

HOLDEN
So nobody but me has stayed the night
at your place since we got together?

ALYSSA
(beat)
Something on your mind, Holden?

HOLDEN
No, I was just wondering,

ALYSSA
If I've been 'faithful' or something?

HOLDEN
Look, I was just asking.

ALYSSA
(toucher his face)
Oh, sweetie. I only have eyes for
you.
(to ice)
CALL THAT FUCKING SHIT, REF!! THE
GUY ON THE SKATES TOTALLY SHOVED ONE
OF MY GUYS!!
(to Holden)
I told you I was great at sporting
events. Imagine what a bitch I could
be if I knew what was going on?

ON THE ICE - Things heat up between two opposing PLAYERS.
One snatches the puck away from the other and skates off.
The other Player gives chase.

Alyssa's very into the game. Holden shakes his head

HOLDEN
That'd make Banky half right.

ALYSSA
About what?

HOLDEN
He said all the girls from North
were bitches and sluts.

ALYSSA
Really. I'm sorry - you two left
high school behind how many years
ago?
(grabs his face and
kisses his cheek)
Can I put some of my books in your
locker?
(goes back to watching
game)

HOLDEN
(under his breath)
How about your yearbook.

ON THE ICE - The Player giving chase slashes the Player with
the puck.

Alyssa jumps to her feet.

ALYSSA
(to ice)
IF YOU DON'T START USING THAT WHISTLE
I'M GONNA JAM IT STRAIGHT UP YOUR
ASS!!
(to guy next to her)
Right?

HOLDEN
What's with 'Finger Cuffs'?

ALYSSA
(sitting back down)
'Finger Cuffs'?

HOLDEN
Yeah. In your senior yearbook your
nickname was 'Finger Cuffs'. What
is that?

ALYSSA
It was? Shit, damned if I can
remember. I'd look it up, but I
threw all that shit our years ago?
(beat)
Where'd you see a North yearbook?

HOLDEN
Do you know Rick Derris?

ON THE ICE - The Players skid into the corner where Player
One checks Player Two into the boards, hard. Player Two
scrambles to his feet and throws down his gloves.

The crowd around Alyssa and Holden go wild.

ALYSSA
Rick? Sure. We used to hang out in
high school.
(to ice)
PUNCH HIM IN THE FUCKING NECK, NUMBER
TWELVE!!

HOLDEN
Did you go out with him or something?

ALYSSA
(eyes on the ice)
Date Rick Derris? No. We just hung
out a lot.

HOLDEN
Just... you and him?

ALYSSA
No. Me, Rick, and... um... what was
that guy's name...?

HOLDEN
Cohee?

ALYSSA
Yeah! Cohee Lundin. God, I haven't
thought about that name in years.

ON THE ICE - The Players square off. Player Two pulls Player
One's helmet off and punches him in the face.

Holden looks as if he'd Like to do the same to his companion.
Alyssa's into the game.

ALYSSA
I remember those guys'd come over
almost everyday after school. They'd
bug my sisters, look for porno tapes
in my dad's closet, raid our fridge.
They really took advantage of my
parents never being home.

ON THE ICE - Player Two yanks at Player One's jersey and gut
punches him. Alyssa seems oblivious to Holden's anger, so
enthralled with the action is she.

ALYSSA
(starts laughing)
This one day... Rick pulled out his
dick and chased me around the house
with it! Right in front of Cohee!
I couldn't believe it! Guys are
weird - I thought the whole size
hang-up made you all terrified to
show your dicks to each other?

ON THE ICE - Player One staggers a bit, then quickly rights
his jersey and lunges at Player Two, landing a barrage of
his own punches. Blood sprays across the ice.

Holden's face is reeeeeaaaally sour looking. Alyssa's still
in the game.

HOLDEN
Rick pulled his dick out? Really?
What'd you do?

ALYSSA
(looks him dead in
the eye)
I blew him while Cohee fucked me.

ON THE ICE - Player One delivers the kill shot, slamming his
fist into Player Two's nose. The blood shoots out like a
geyser, and Two goes down hard.

Holden stares at Alyssa, flabbergasted. The crowd around
them stares not at the fight on the ice, but the fight in
their midst, shocked. Alyssa fumes.

HOLDEN
Excuse me!?!

ALYSSA
That's what you wanted to hear, isn't
it? Isn't that what this little
cross-examination of your's is about?
Well try not to be so obvious about
it next time, there are subtler ways
of badgering a witness.
(to Bystander)
Am I right?

BYSTANDER
(to Holden)
Jeez, even I knew what you were
getting at.

ALYSSA
(gathering her stuff)
If you wanted some background
information on me, all you had to do
was ask - I'd have gladly volunteered
it. You didn't have to play Hercules
fucking Poirot!

She storms away. Holden chases after her. The Bystander
watches them go.

BYSTANDER
(to companion)
I told you these were good seats.

INT. RINK LOBBY / EXT PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Alyssa marches quickly, pulling on her coat. Holden catches
up to her. We track with them our into the parking lot.

HOLDEN
So it's true?!

ALYSSA
Yes Holden! In fact, everything you
heard or dug up on me was probably
true! Yeah, I took on two guys at
once! You want to hear some gems
you might not have unearthed - I
took a twenty six year old guy to my
senior prom, and then left halfway
through to have sex with him and
Gwen Turner in the back of a limo!
And the girl who got caught in the
shower with Miss Moffit, the gym
teacher? That was me! Or how about
in college, when I let Shannon
Hamilton videotape us having sex -
only to find out the next day that
he broadcast it on the campus cable
station?! They're all true - those
and so many more! Didn't you know?
I'm the queen of urban legend!

HOLDEN
How the hell could you do those
things?!

ALYSSA
Easily! Some of it I did out of
stupidity, some of it I did out of
what I thought was love, but - good
or bad - they were my choices, and
I'm not making apologies for them
now - not to you or anyone! And how
dare you try to lay a guilt trip on
me about it - in public, no less!
Who the fuck do you think you are,
you judgemental prick?!

HOLDEN
How am I supposed to feel about all
of this?

ALYSSA
How are you supposed to feel about
it? Feel what ever the fuck you
want about it! The only thing that
really matters is how you feel about
me.

HOLDEN
I don't know how I feel about you
now.

ALYSSA
Why? Because I had some sex?

HOLDEN
Some sex?

ALYSSA
Yes, Holden - that's all it was:
some sex! Most of it stupid high
school sex, for Christ's sake! Like
you never had sex in high school!

HOLDEN
There's a world of fucking difference
between typical high school sex and
two guys at once! They fucking used
you?

ALYSSA
I used them! You don't think I
would've let it happen if I hadn't
wanted it to, do you?! I was an
experimental girl, for Christ's sake!
Maybe you knew early on that your
track was from point 'a' to 'b' -
but unlike you I wasn't given a
fucking map at birth, so I tried it
all! That is until we - that's you
and I - got together, and suddenly,
I was sated. Can't you take some
fucking comfort in that? You turned
out to be all I was ever looking for -
the missing piece in the big fucking
puzzle!
(tries to calm down)
Look I'm sorry I let you believe
that you were the only guy I'd ever
been with. I should've been more
honest. But it seemed to make you
feel special in a way that me telling
you over and over again how incredible
you are would never get across.

She touches his face. He pulls back. She stares at him,
hurt and pissed.

ALYSSA
Do you mean to tell me that - while
you have zero problem with me sleeping
with half the women in New York City -
you have some sort of half-assed,
mealy-mouthed objection to pubescent
antics, that took place almost ten
years ago? What the fuck is your
problem?!?

Holden's eyes are downcast. Alyssa waits for a response.

HOLDEN
I want us to be something that we
can't.

ALYSSA
And what's that?

HOLDEN
(beat)
A normal couple.

Holden skulks off. Alyssa stares after him, and then starts
kicking and punching a car beside her, finally slumping to
the ground. She cries.

INT. STUDIO - DUSK

Holden sits on the couch, alone in the dark. The door opens
and Banky enters. He stands there, sizing up Holden's mood.

BANKY
The girl?

Holden nods. Banky nods back. He stands there for a beat.
Then he sits beside Holden. He opens his arms. Holden shifts
into his friend's embrace and begins crying on his shoulder.
Banky pats his back. Pull back on a man in pain and the
comfort of a friend.

INT. DINER - NIGHT

Holden sits alone at a booth. He stirs his iced tea.

OC VOICE
Yo, look at this morose mother fucker
here..

Holden looks up. JAY and SILENT BOB stand above him.

JAY
Smells like somebody shit in his
cereal.

Holden offers a half-smile. The pair slide into the booth.

HOLDEN
What took you so long?

JAY
We were at the mall. You bring the
salad?

Holden pulls an envelope out of his jacket and tosses it to
Jay. Jay opens it and pulls out a thick wad of bills, along
with the latest issue of 'BLUNTMAN and CHRONIC.'

JAY
Man, this likeness rights shit is
more profitable than selling smoke.

HOLDEN
How'd a dirt merchant like you ever
learn about likeness rights?

JAY
(hands envelope to
Silent Bob)
We deal to a lot of lawyers. Speaking
of which...
(pulls out a dime bag)
Little signing bonus and shit!

HOLDEN
I'll pass. Take a look at the issue.

Silent Bob thumbs through the comic. Jay looks over his
shoulder, as he begins rolling a joint.

JAY
Yeah. When you gonna get some pussy
in that book, man! Throw some super-
villain in with big fucking tits
that shoot milk or something, and I
just drink her dry, bust some moves
on her...
(demonstrates)
...and then she has to fuck me.
(Silent Bob hits him)
Fuck us.

HOLDEN
I'll see what I can do.

A WAITRESS joins them.

WAITRESS
What can I get you.

HOLDEN
Nothing, thanks.

JAY
Yo Flo - tell Mel to whip me up a
toasted bagel and cream cheese.
(to Silent Bob)
You want one too?
(Silent Bob nods)
Make that two. And kiss my grits.
Noonch.
(the Waitress leaves;
to Holden)
D'jever watch 'Alice'? That show's
good as hell.
(continues rolling)
So why the long face, Horse? Banky
on the rag?

HOLDEN
When is he not? No - I'm just having
some girl trouble.

JAY
Bitch pressing charges? I get that
a lot.

HOLDEN
No. I'm just at a point where I
don't know what to do.

JAY
Kick her to the curb. Girls get to
be too much trouble, there's always
the 'band of the hand'.

HOLDEN
Can't do it, g. I'm in love.

JAY
Ah, there ain't no such thing. You
gotta boil it all down to the
essentials. It's like Cube says -
life ain't nothing but bitches and
money.

HOLDEN
Just what I needed - advice from the
'hood

JAY
Who is this girl?

HOLDEN
I don't think you know her.

JAY
Come on man - I'm people who know
people.

HOLDEN
You sound like Barbra Streisand.

JAY
That's 'cause I got this tubby bitch
playing her greatest hits tape in my
ear all the time. You should see
him: she starts singing 'You Don't
Bring Me Flowers', this faggot starts
crying like a little girl with a
skinned knee and shit. It's
embarrassing. I got the only muscle
in the world with a weakness for
ballads.
(to Silent Bob)
You big fucking softie.
(to Holden)
So what's this skirt's name!

HOLDEN
I'm telling you, you don't know her.

JAY
I ain't playing. Tell me her name,
Mysterio.

HOLDEN
Alyssa Jones.

JAY
Finger Cuffs?

Holden rubs his eyes.

JAY
You're dating Finger Cuffs? Wait a
minute I thought she was all gay and
shit!

HOLDEN
She is. Or was. I don't know.

The Waitress returns with the order.

JAY
And you go out with her? Shit, man -
you're a lucky dog. She bring other
chicks to bed with you, get a little
of that filet o' fish sammich going
on?

The Waitress stares wide-eyed and offended at Jay.

JAY
(off the Waitress'
look)
Yeah - you know what I'm talking
about, baby.
(Waitress leaves;
to Holden)
So - four tits, or what?

HOLDEN
It's not like that.

JAY
Well what's it like then?

HOLDEN
Right now?
(beat)
I don't know. I love her. But she
has a past

JAY
I'll say. Stuffin' two guys, eating
chicks out. Yo - I heard one time,
she had this dog...

HOLDEN
Eat your fucking bagel already!

JAY
(to Silent Bob)
Look at this touchy mother fucker
right here.
(to Holden)
So, if you're all in love with her,
what's the problem?

HOLDEN
The problem is shit like that. It
was one thing when it was just girls -
that was weird enough. But now you
throw guys into the mix - two guys
at once, no less. All that
experience... What am I supposed to
think?

JAY
You think good; because now she'll
be all true blue and shit. The girl's
tasted life, yo. Now she's settlin'
for your boring, funny-book-makin'
ass.

HOLDEN
Settling. That's comforting, Jay.
Thanks.

JAY
That's what I'm here for.

HOLDEN
I'm lust having a problem with all
of it I can't get it out of my head
these visuals of her doing all this
shit. And I don't know why I can't
let it go. Because I'm crazy about
her, you know? I look at this girl,
I see the future. I see kids. I
see grand-kids.

JAY
You're scaring me.

HOLDEN
I'm scaring myself. Because I think
so much of her, and then I can't get
over shit like 'Finger Cuffs'.
(shakes his head)
I don't know what I'm doing.

Holden looks out the window. Jay continues to roll his joint.
There's silence. Then...

BOB
You're chasing Amy.

Holden's head snaps forward. He stares, wide-eyed at Silent
Bob.

HOLDEN
What... what did you say?

BOB
You're chasing Amy.

Holden stares, shocked. He looks to Jay, who's still rolling
his joint.

JAY
What do you look so shocked for? He
does this all the time. Fat bastard
thinks just because he never says
anything, that it'll have some huge
impact when he does open his fucking
mouth.

BOB
Why don't you shut up? Jesus! Always
yap, yap, yapping all the time.
Give me a fucking headache.
(to Holden)
I went through something like what
you're going through. Years ago.
Same kind of thing with a girl named
Amy.

JAY
When?

BOB
A couple of years ago.

JAY
What'd she 'Live in Canada' or
something? Why don't I remember
this?

BOB
What you don't know about me I can
just about squeeze into the Grand
fucking Canyon. Did you know I always
wanted to be a dancer in Vegas?

Jay and Holden look at him. Silent Bob busts a move with
his hands.

BOB
Hunhh? Bet you didn't know that?

JAY
Just tell your fucking story so we
can get out of here and smoke this.

BOB
(to Holden)
So there's me an Amy, and we're all
inseparable, right? Just big time
in love. And then about four months
in, I ask about the ex-boyfriend.
Dumb move, I know, but you know how
it is - you don't really want to
know, but you just have to... stupid
guy bullshit. Anyway she starts
telling me all about him - how they
dated for years, lived together, her
mother likes me better, blah, blah,
blah - and I'm okay. But then she
tells me that a couple times, he
brought other people to bed with
them - menage a tois, I believe it's
called. Now this just blows my mind.
I mean, I'm not used to that sort of
thing, right? I was raised Catholic.

JAY
Saint Shithead.

Silent Bob backhands him. Jay raises his fist as if to
strike.

BOB
Do something.
(to Holden)
So I get weirded out, and just start
blasting her, right? This is the
only way I can deal with it - by
calling her a slut, and telling her
that she was used - I mean, I'm out
for blood I want to hurt her - because
I don't know how to deal with what
I'm feeling. And I'm like "What the
fuck is wrong with you?" and she's
telling me that it was that time, in
that place, and she didn't do anything
wrong, so she's not gonna apologize.
So I tell her it's over, and I walk.

JAY
Fucking a.

BOB
No, idiot. It was a mistake. I
wasn't disgusted with her, I was
afraid. At that moment, I felt small -
like I'd lacked experience, like I'd
never be on her level or never be
enough for her or something. And
what I didn't get was that she didn't
care. She wasn't looking for that
guy anymore. She was looking for
me. But by the time I realized this,
it was too late, you know. She'd
moved on, and all I had to show for
it was some foolish pride, which
then gave way to regret. She was
the girl, I know that now. But I
pushed her away...

Everyone's silent Silent Bob lights a cigarette.

BOB
So I've spent every day since then
chasing Amy...
(takes a drag from
his smoke)
So to speak.

They sit there for a beat. Jay pockets the rest of his dime-
bag.

JAY
Enough of this fucking melodrama.
My advice - forget her, dude. There's
one woman in the world. One woman,
with many faces.
(to Silent Bob)

GET UP, BITCH
(to Holden)
We gotta book. We're catching a bus
to Chi-town.

HOLDEN
What's there?

JAY
Business, yo. How many more of those
phat envelopes do we got coming to
us?

HOLDEN
I don't know. I don't know if the
book's going to be around much longer.

JAY
Yeah? Good. I'll be glad as shit
when it's gone.

HOLDEN
Are you kidding me? There's millions
of people out there that'd love to
see themselves in a comic book.

JAY
I know. I spend every fucking waking
hour with one of them. But it ain't
like us at all - all slapsticky and
shit - running around like dicks,
saying... What's that shit you got
me saying?

HOLDEN
Snootchie-bootchies.

JAY
'Snootchie-bootchies'. Who talks
like that? That's baby-talk.
(slaps his hand)
It's a big world, g - but we're bound
to run into you again. Until then -
keep your unit on you.

HOLDEN
I'll try.

BOB
Do, or do not - there is no try.

JAY
(slaps him)
Knock it off! Get your fat ass moving -
we got a bus to catch.
(under his breath)
Jedi-bitch.

Exit Jay and Silent Bob. Holden remains in the booth,
thinking.

MONTAGE - AN UNCOMFORTABLE SILENCE

1) Holden sits at his drawing table, tapping his pencil up
and down.

2) Alyssa sits in a club, getting talked at by some women.
She's not present in the conversation.

3) Banky meets with Sloss at a restaurant Sloss shakes the
contracts at him, and Banky makes the "I know, I know," face.

4) Holden stares at the picture Alyssa gave him.

5) Alyssa with her ear to the phone. She hangs up, angrily.

6) Holden sits in the park that he and Alyssa walked through.
He's staring at Alyssa's yearbook picture. He closes the
book and sighs. Then, an idea hits him. He jumps up and
dashes out of the park.

INT. STUDIO - NIGHT

Banky and Alyssa sit on the couch. Holden paces in front of
them.

HOLDEN
I know you're wondering why I asked
you both here tonight, at the same
time, knowing that we have shit to
settle between us, separately.

BANKY
I just figured you wanted to kill
two birds with one stone by telling
her to fuck off with me here so you
didn't have to go through the story
again later on.

ALYSSA
Fuck you.

BANKY
Not even if you let me videotape it.

HOLDEN
Enough!
(they both look at
him)
I've been going through things, over
and over. And I dissected it all,
and looked at it a thousand different
ways. Banky - there's friction
between us for the first time in our
lives. You hate me dating Alyssa
and you want me to sign off on this
M-TV thing.

BANKY
How perceptive.

HOLDEN
Alyssa - you and I hit a wall, because
I don't know how to deal with...
your past, I guess.

BANKY
That's a nice way of putting it.
I'd have said the whole double-stuff
thing...

HOLDEN
(right in his face)
I'm only going to say it once: shut
up.
(back to pacing)
Now - I know I'm to blame one way or
the other on both accounts. With
you, Alyssa - it's my fault because
I feel inadequate. Because you've
had so much experience, had such a
big life; and my life's been pretty
small in comparison.

ALYSSA
That doesn't matter to me...

HOLDEN
Please. I have to get through this.
(beat)
And with you Banky - I know why you're
having such a hard time with Alyssa,
and it's something that's been obvious
forever, but I guess I just didn't
acknowledge it.
(takes a deep breath)
You're in love with me.

BANKY
(makes a face; beat)
What?

HOLDEN
You're attracted to me. Just as, in
a way, I'm attracted to you. I mean,
it makes sense - we've been together
so long, we have so much in common...

BANKY
(getting up)
Well, I've got to get home and catch
the last few minutes of 'Babylon 5',
so I'll be...

Holden grabs him, kisses him full on the lips, and pushes
him back onto the couch Alyssa reacts. Banky - wide-eyed
and speechless - looks away.

HOLDEN
It's something you're going to have
to deal with. Bank. You may very
well be gay, which explains your
homophobia and why you're so jealous
of Alyssa, and your sense of humor
as well.

BANKY
Just 'cause a guy's got a predilection
coward dick jokes...

HOLDEN
Bank. Stop. Deal with it. You'll
feel much better.

He grabs a chair from the side of the room.

HOLDEN
Now - at this point, you may be asking
yourself the question that I've been
going over and over in my head for
the last few days: what does one
have to do with the other?

Alyssa's face drops. She subtly shakes her head.

ALYSSA
(under her breath)
Don't.

HOLDEN
And when I did some serious soul-
searching, it came at me from out of
nowhere, and suddenly it all made
sense - a calm came over me. I know
what we have to do. And then you -
Bank, you Alyssa, and I - all of
us... can finally be... alright.

ALYSSA
(again, under her
breath)
Please don't say it.

HOLDEN
(sits in the chair;
takes a long beat)
We've all got to have sex together.

The room is silent. Holden Lights a cigarette. Banky's
eyes nearly bug. Alyssa's head drops.

HOLDEN
Don't you see? That would take care
of everything. Alyssa - I wouldn't
feel inadequate or too conservative
anymore. I'll have done something
on par with all the experience you've
had. And it'll be with you, which'll
make it that much more powerful.
And Banky - you can cake that leap
that everyone else but you sees that
you should take. And it'll be okay,
because it'll be with me - your best
friend for years. We've been
everything to each other but
intimates. And now, we'll have been
through that together too. And it
won't have to be a total leap for
you, because a woman will be involved.
And when it's over, all that
aggression you feel toward Alyssa
will be gone. Because you'll have
shared in something beautiful with
the woman I love. It'll be cathartic.
A true communion. We have to do
this. For me, for both of you...
for all of our sakes. This will
keep us together.
(beat)
What do you say?

Banky stares forward, wide-eyed. He leans back into the
couch and lets out a huge sigh. Then shrugs.

BANKY
Sure.

Holden smiles at his friend. Then he looks at Alyssa.

HOLDEN
You know I need this. You know it'll
help.

Alyssa looks at him, sadly.

ALYSSA
No.

Holden reacts, shocked Banky lets out a sigh of relief.

HOLDEN
No? I... I thought you'd be into
this.

ALYSSA
You did? What does that say about
me?

HOLDEN
But you've... you've done... stuff...
like this. This should be no big
deal for you.

ALYSSA
You don't want this.
(lights her cigarette)
You really don't want this. Trust
me.

HOLDEN
I need this. This has to happen.
Why can't you see that? And how can
you not? What does that say about
me? You can take it from two guys
whose names you can barely remember,
but I ask you to share an experience
like it - where it's about intimacy -
and you say no?

ALYSSA
(inhales from her
cigarette, takes a
beat)
I can't.

Holden moves to her side of the couch.

HOLDEN
You can. I'll be there. And when
it's over, we'll be the strongest
we've ever been because we got through
some nasty shit together. And we'll
finally be on the same level together.
And then there'll be nothing we can't
accomplish.

A tear rolls down her cheek She looks at him, sadly, and
touches his face.

ALYSSA
Oh Holden.
(trying to compose
herself)
That time is over for me. I've been
there. I've done it. And I didn't
find what I was looking for in any
of it. I found that in you - in us.
Doing this won't help you forget
about the things you're hung up on.
It'll create more.

HOLDEN
No it won't. I thought about all of
that.

ALYSSA
No, it will. Maybe you'll see me
differently from then on - maybe
you'll despise me for going along
with it, once you're in the moment.
Maybe I'll moan differently and then
you'll resent Banky, and become
suspicious of us. Or you'll alienate
him because of it, and then grow to
blame and hate me for the
deterioration of your friendship.
Or what if - I sincerely doubt it,
but what if - I saw something in
Banky that I never saw before, and
fell in love with him and left you.
I've been down roads like this before;
many times. I know you feel doing
this will broaden your horizons and
give you experience. But I've had
those experiences on my own. I can't
accompany you on yours. I'm past
that now.
(touches his face;
stares to cry)
Or maybe I just love you too much.
And I feel hurt and let down that
you'd want to share me with anyone.
Because I never wanted to share you
(holds it in; gets up)
Regardless I can't be a part of this.
(beat)
Or you. Not anymore
(hugs him)
I love you. I always will. Know
that.

She releases him, then slaps him.

ALYSSA
But I'm not your fucking whore.

Alyssa storms away, stopping briefly to look Banky up and
down.

ALYSSA
He's yours again.

She walks our of the studio. The door closes behind her.

Banky and Holden stand there, silently. Cut to black.

INT. COMIC BOOK SHOW - DAY

It's ONE YEAR later. We're at another show, not unlike the
one from the opening.

A copy of 'Bluntman and Chronic' enters the frame. The cover
reads 'The Death Chronic', complete with a corresponding
drawing.

BANKY (V.O.)
Blast from the past.

Banky sits at his own signing table. Behind him hangs a
banner that reads 'BANKY EDWARDS - CREATOR OF BABY DAVE'. A
small line is formed in front of him. He talks with a FAN.

FAN
Do you know how much it's going for
these days? One ten. You signing
it will push that up even higher,

BANKY
If you sell it, I want a kickback
(starts signing)

FAN
I don't know if this is true, but I
heard once that there was going to
be an animated series.

BANKY
There was going to be

FAN
What happened!

BANKY
(off comic)
You're looking at it. No Chronic -
no cartoon

FAN
That sucks man. That would've been
awesome.

BANKY
Tell me about it

FAN
Is that what happened to you and
Holden McNeil? You got into a fight
over the rights or something?

BANKY
It was a little more involved than
that.

FAN
Whatever happened to him?

BANKY
He quit the biz. I guess.

FAN
You guys don't talk anymore?

BANKY
(looks OC)
No. Not really.

Banky locks eyes with someone OC. His expression softens.

Holden leans against a wall on the far side of the room. He
smiles at Banky. Banky smiles back, and sort of nods.

Holden holds up a copy of Banky's new solo comic. He points
to it and gives a thumbs up.

OC FAN
Probably shouldn't have killed off
Chronic.

Banky smiles to OC.

BANKY
Guess not. Some doors just shouldn't
be opened.

Banky looks in another direction, OC. He looks at Holden
and points to it. Holden looks in the same direction, and
then looks back at Banky and nods.

OC FAN
You don't need that guy, anyway.
You do great stuff without him.

Banky looks at Holden for a beat. Then he brings his pointer
fingers together, mimicing Holden's 'shared moment' gesture.

Holden shrugs slightly, then crosses his fingers - as if to
say 'hopefully'.

OC FAN
You were just carrying that guy,
anyway.

Banky sort of smiles at the OC Holden. Then he offers his
own thumbs up - as to say 'good luck'.

BANKY
(to fan, still looking
OC)
You're so right.

Holden smiles back, nods 'bye', and walks off.

OC FAN
Well, keep up the good work, man.
Love them dick jokes. Love 'em.
See ya.

The Fan Leaves, but Banky is watching Holden go.

BXVKY
Yeah. Bye.
(shakes it off)
Okay. Who's next?

Alyssa sits at a separate signing table, with a line in front
of her. A WOMAN behind her. Alyssa dashes off signatures
in the copies of her comic.

ALYSSA
(to OC departing fan)
Thanks for reading it.

The Woman stands and rubs her shoulders.

WOMAN
I'm going to get a soda. You want
anything?

ALYSSA
I'm fine, thanks,

The Woman heads off. Alyssa starts rummaging through her
bag.

ALYSSA
(not rooking up)
Okay, who's next!

A comic book drops on the table in front of her. It's a
comic book called 'Chasing Amy'.

She leafs through it, not looking up.

ALYSSA
Um... This isn't one of mine.

OC HOLDEN
It's mine.

Alyssa looks up sharply.

Holden stands before her, smiling.

HOLDEN
I saved you one.

ALYSSA
Hi.

HOLDEN
Hi.

ALYSSA
(beat)
How've you been?

HOLDEN
Good. Really good. Yourself?

ALYSSA
Good
(beat; off her own
comic)
New issue's selling like crazy, for
some reason.

HOLDEN
Because it's so good. I really liked
it.

ALYSSA
Thank you.
(off comic)
I haven't even seen this yet. Did
it just come out?

HOLDEN
A month ago. I did a really small
run. Self-financed. Only about
five hundred issues.

ALYSSA
Will I enjoy it?

HOLDEN
You might. It's familiar subject
matter.

Alyssa leafs through it. Her eyes get somewhat misty.

ALYSSA
Looks Like a very personal story.

HOLDEN
I finally had something personal to
say.

They look at each other for a beat

HOLDEN
I'm going to go. I don't want to
hold up the line.

ALYSSA
Yeah. I mean, it can get ugly. I
just saw this nun in line call this
small child a cunt-rag.

HOLDEN
(smiles)
Read that, when you have a minute.

ALYSSA
I will.

HOLDEN
I'd like to hear your thoughts about
it. If you get a chance, give me a
call.

ALYSSA
Okay.

They look at each other for a beat.

HOLDEN
Nice seeing you again,

ALYSSA
Really nice to see you too.

He walks away. A few steps away, he turns and waves again.
She waves back. And then he starts moving through the thrall
of fan-boys.

The Woman returns with coffee. She follows Alyssa's gaze.

WOMAN
Who was that?

ALYSSA
Hmm! Oh. Just some guy I knew.

She watches him go for another beat, then.

ALYSSA
(to line)
Next.
(to Woman)
So what do you want to do tonight?

And as they fall into conversation, the show goes on.

END

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